Albany holds £22m close on third venture fund

Edinburgh-based Albany Ventures has received commitments from Scottish Widows, BoS, Alliance Trusts and Martin Currie en route to a £40m final closing.

Albany Ventures, the 2000 venture capital spin-out from British Linen Equity, has held a first closing for Albany Ventures Fund III at £22m.

The fund, which has been in the market since June 2001, received commitments from Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, Bank of Scotland Corporate Banking, The Alliance Trusts and Martin Currie Capital Return Trust. Albany’s management invested £300,000 of their own money in the partnership.

The fund will invest in early stage technology companies in the UK and Ireland, focusing on enterprise software and healthcare.

Raymond Abbott, the firm’s managing director, said the fund took a while to attract investment, but given market conditions, the first closing was a great success. “We are very keen to start investing now, and we think the timing is right, as we expect technology to outperform over the long term.”

A final closing is expected later this year. The fund has a target of £40m and continues to be marketed to institutional investors in the UK.

The closing takes Albany’s assets under management to approximately £40m. The firm manages  BLS Holdings, a £20m fund created through the secondary purchase of British Linen Equity’s portfolio by BancBoston Capital that is fully invested and in realisation mode at present.

Albany also operates a pledge fund which has BancBoston as sole limited partner. It was invested in 2001 and allowed Albany to make a small number of new investments while the fundraising for the third fund was ongoing.

Commenting on Bank of Scotland’s decision to support Albany, head of investments and mezzanine Graham Sturrock said in statement: “Bank of Scotland knows the Albany investment team well from their period as venture capital managers within British Linen Equity.  I am looking forward to continuing a close working relationship with Raymond and his team as part of the overall financial community support for technology investment based in Scotland.'

BoS is currently invested in over 85 funds and has over £800m of commitments under management.