Deal round up 13/08/02

VC firms sell Lastminute.com shares; Gresham invests in Telford expansion; White Rose completes 15th deal

VC firms sell Lastminute.com shares

Cheetah Investments and Global Retail Partners, two of Lastminute.com’s earliest backers, have sold shares in the online travel retailer with a total value of £11m.

The two firms, which backed the company prior to its much-hyped listing on the London Stock Exchange in early 2000 sold 12m shares, with Cheetah netting £7.36m from the sale and GRP making £3.68m from its four million shares. According to Lastminute managing director Martha Lane-Fox, the sale was part of both investor’s exit strategy.

Gresham invests in Brand Partnership expansion

UK venture capital firm Gresham has provided £8m in development capital to Brand Partnership as part of the food manufacturer's acquisition of Telford Foods from Netherlands-based Wessanen Group.

Wessanen Group manufactures dried soups and sauces and complements Telford’s instant snacks range, the company’s primary market. Gresham, part of the Zurich Financial Services Group, originally backed Brand Partnership directors Tim Robertshaw and Andy Micklethwaite two years ago when they bought the Leeds-based company from its owners.

White Rose completes 15th deal

White Rose Technology Seedcorn Fund, the venture capital fund owned by the universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York, has made a follow-on investment in Adjuvantix, a Sheffield-based life sciences company. The latest financing takes White Rose’s total investment in Adjuvantix to £250,000.

The investment is the Fund’s fifteenth to date, with several other investments in the pipeline. The Fund has committed more than £2m to assisting the commercial application of innovative research from the three universities.