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Thames River Hedge+ seeks GBP200m through new share issue

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The board of Thames River Multi Hedge PCC, a closed-ended Guernsey-domiciled protected cell company, has announced plans to raise up to GBP200m through the issue of new shares in the Thame

The board of Thames River Multi Hedge PCC, a closed-ended Guernsey-domiciled protected cell company, has announced plans to raise up to GBP200m through the issue of new shares in the Thames River Hedge+ Fund, which currently has GBP276m in assets.

Thames River plans to issue sterling-, euro and US dollar-denominated C shares in Thames River Hedge+ as well as to launch a Realisation share class that seeks to provide investors with a tax-efficient source of capital distribution. The offer will run from 1 p.m. on April 29 until 5.00 p.m. on May 22.

According to the asset manager, Thames River Hedge+ continues to deliver strong performance. Over the 12 months to the end of March, its sterling share price increased by 21.7 per cent and as of March 31 the shares were trading at a premium of 3.6 per cent to net asset value.

The introduction of Realisation shares is designed to offer investors an alternative source of tax-efficient income. Subject to the board’s discretion, investors will be able to elect to redeem (or have placed) Realisation shares twice yearly, in June and December.

At the outset, the redemption rate for Realisation shares is expected to be, subject to board confirmation, equivalent to 5 per cent per annum of the starting net asset value, to be paid in two approximately equal distributions in June and December, with the first potential realisation election period in December 2008.

On redemption or placing, UK investors will be deemed to be realising a capital gain and will therefore liable to capital gains tax levied at no more than 18 per cent, compared with a marginal income tax of 40 per cent for higher-rate taxpayers.

‘This fourth fundraising since the launch of the company reflects the ongoing attraction of Thames River Hedge+ and is a strong endorsement of the expertise of the investment team,’ says William Backhouse, chairman of Thames River Multi Hedge PCC.

‘We are confident that the fund’s excellent track record and potential for double-digit returns will excite considerable interest in the C share issue, particularly in view of continued uncertainty within broader markets. Furthermore, the introduction of an innovative Realisation share class is designed to benefit investors through the provision of tax-efficient absolute returns.’

Ken Kinsey-Quick, who manages Thames River Hedge+ with Alex Kuiper, adds: ‘Against a backdrop of heightened market volatility and ongoing concerns over the credit crunch, we continue to see exciting investment opportunities in areas such as health care, the US sub-prime housing market, investment grade credit and energy as well as the potential offered by new hedge fund strategies.’

Thames River Hedge+ was launched in February 2004 with the aim of achieving average annual absolute returns exceeding 10 per cent over a cycle through opportunistic investment in a portfolio of both directional and non-directional hedge funds. The fund is listed on the Channel Islands Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange.

Established in 1998, Thames River Capital and its affiliates Nevsky Capital and Thames River Multi-Capital managed a total of more than GBP6.4bn at the end of March. The group, which has 164 staff including 89 investment professionals, manages a range of multi-manager funds, property funds, Ucits III funds, and long/short funds investing in emerging market, European and Japanese equities, global credit markets and OECD sovereign bonds.

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