BoS takes stake in Braveheart Ventures

The UK-based private investor network is selling a minority interest in order to release liquidity and attain a benchmark valuation ahead of a planned AIM flotation.

Bank of Scotland Corporate has taken a 10 percent stake valued at around £11 million (€16 million; $19 million) in Braveheart Ventures, a Scottish consortium of private investors. 
 
The injection of funds will raise capital in the short term, Braveheart chief executive Geoffrey Thomson told PEO, but was mainly motivated by a desire to float the company at some point in the future. “The move was partly to benchmark our valuation – as we are considering an AIM listing at some point – and getting a valuation from a FTSE 100 company like Bank of Scotland is a good move,” he said.
 
Thomson added that the firm had issued a prospectus to shareholders in 2003/2004 stating its “long-term goal” of a listing.
 
The transaction came about as a result of Braveheart’s long-standing relationship with the bank, added Thomson. “We have had a good relationship with the bank for a long time, in terms of doing deals in the SMART equity scheme,” said Thomson. SMART is a pilot equity scheme for university spin-out companies set up by Braveheart, the Bank of Scotland and University of Edinburgh in March 2003.
 
According to a press release, Braveheart has achieved 39 percent growth per annum on exited deals and 34 percent growth per annum in its overall portfolio since inception.
 
Established in 1997 by four Scottish businessmen including Thomson, the Perth-based investment syndicate makes early-stage equity investments between £200,000 and £2 million. According to Braveheart’s website, the syndicate will make also make investments of as little as £50,000 through the SMART Equity Scheme.
 
Braveheart portfolio companies include: Optos, a retinal examination medical devices company; Vibtech, a developer of high-speed wireless solutions for seismic surveys in the oil; and AIM-listed Clapham House Group, which buys and expands restaurant brands located within the M25 area and was established by two former executive directors of Pizza Express.