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Longbow launches fund investing in emerging healthcare firms

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Venture investor Longbow Capital has launched the Longbow Approved EIS Fund, a tax-efficient investment vehicle offering investors the opportunity to invest in a portfolio of emerging healthcare, life science and wellbeing companies.

The fund will invest in a portfolio of six to eight companies within a 12 month period, in accordance with HMRC rules.

Longbow says the current economic environment is ideal for investing in this asset class and sector. Valuations have fallen due to shortages of venture capital available and there are many attractive growth opportunities at good prices.

The fund closes to new investments on 1 April 2010 and is targeting to raise GBP10m.

Longbow is a founding partner of the Boots Centre for Innovation, an innovation hub based in Swansea, Wales, which works closely with early stage companies or inventors to develop products for the shelves of Alliance Boots stores.

Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) are one of the few remaining tax reliefs open to investors. EIS can offer mitigation across several different brackets including income tax, inheritance tax and capital gains tax.

Julian Hickman, partner, Longbow Capital, says: “The fund provides investors with access to investment prospects that emerge from the BCI as well as other sources, which will excite investors looking into the well being, healthcare and life science field. The relationship with Boots ensures that these products have access to a distribution network, meaning that investors will see the products rolled out across the UK and through international networks. During 2009 two portfolio products were successfully launched through Boots with further launches expected in 2010.”
 
The minimum investment for the fund is GBP10,000.

Investment activity will be focused on technologies that are close to market or have already been launched as this reduces risk while maintaining the opportunity for significant returns. All investments will qualify for EIS relief.

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