£12.8m invested from Quester VCT4

Around 25 per cent of Quester VCT4, the penultimate venture capital trust launched by technology venture capitalist Quester, has been invested to date.

Quester VCT4, the £53.4m venture capitalist trust launched by independent VC Quester three years ago, is expected to return to shareholders a tax-free dividend of 1.75p from the £12.8m of investments it has made to date.

John Spooner, a director at Quester, said the fund’s first 18 investments were a promising start to the portfolio. He added: “Recently depressed markets have provided us with excellent opportunities to build the portfolio at lower prices, and potentially provide improved future returns for shareholders.”

The 18 investments made during the period ending October 31, 2001 represent around 25 per cent of the net funds raised by Quester VCT4, and the firm has allocated a similar percentage for further funding.

These investments include Anthropics, a spinout from the National Film and Television School’s research laboratory Createc. Quester injected £3m into the company in September for it to continue developing its digital technology, which transmits live TV-quality videos of human faces over low bandwidths, allowing people to communicate face-to-face over wireless, Internet or wired networks.

Spooner added that nearly three-quarters of the money invested during the period went into companies operating in the software, electronics and healthcare sectors. Money was co-invested with previous Quester VCTs and other funds under management.

Last month, Quester launched VCT5, its fifth generalist venture capital trust, to take advantage of the continuing flow of high quality investment opportunities, reduced competition and lower prices in the unquoted market.

Quester, founded in 1984, today has around £250m under management. The firm focuses on two areas, information and communication technologies, and healthcare and life sciences. The group also manages a number of external funds from institutional investors and universities such as Oxford, Bath, Bristol and Southampton. The firm launched its fifth VCT in November last year setting the target at £25m.