Two transactions were highlighted in the results. The first was the exit from First Fibre Ltd via a sale to ADVA AG that saw the original £1.5 million invested become valued at completion at £10.3 million. Subsequently the VCT sold £6.4 million of ADVA shares resulting in a gain of £5.3 million.
The other key deal was the Trust’s investment in Oxagen Ltd for £1.3 million that was revalued to £3.7 million following a new round of funding in November 2000.
The board advised that the net asset value of the VCT had increased from 84.8p per share at 31 March 2000 to 110.9p per share at 31 March 2001 [a 30.8% uplift].
The board also confirmed that no dividend was being paid and advised that although a gain was realised from the sale of ADVA shares, it had not been sufficient to eliminate the deficit on the trust’s realised capital reserve account. The board went on to say that future realisations were expected to eliminate the deficit and allow the payment of capital dividends.
Sir David Cooksey, Chairman of Advent Venture Partners, the manager of Advent VCT, commented: “Current market conditions are restricting the ability of portfolio companies to raise capital and also limit the opportunities for investments in companies to be realised. As market sentiment improves, we expect this to change and to realise further value for shareholders from the portfolio.”