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Longbow launches VCT investing in life enhancement and well-being market


Longbow Capital is launching the Longbow Growth and Income VCT, a tax-efficient investment vehicle offering investors the opportunity to invest in a portfolio of innovative British life enhancement and wellbeing companies.

The VCT aims to invest in 15-30 unquoted companies with a particular emphasis on products that can be distributed through Longbow’s link to Boots and the Boots Centre for Innovation (BCI).

The VCT is targeting to raise GBP10 million and the offer closes on 5 April for 2010/11 tax year and on 30 June 2011 for the 2011/12 tax year. The product is available through Hargreaves Lansdowne and other major IFA networks.

Ben Yearsley, Head of VCT Research at Hargreaves Lansdown says; “Longbow are an interesting addition to the VCT sector. They have created a niche in the EIS world and are attempting to transfer that to the VCT space and I see no reason why they shouldn’t be successful.”

The Longbow Growth and Income VCT is targeting a minimum total tax-free return after 5 years of £1.30 per share. VCT tax benefits include: 30% income tax relief on investment; tax-free dividend income; tax-free capital growth.

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 pioneering products for the shelves of Boots stores.

Sir Nigel Rudd, Chairman, Longbow Capital LLP says: “The VCT provides investors with exposure to an exciting sector; the whole area of life enhancement and wellbeing is about to undergo fundamental change as governments worldwide are increasingly challenged to meet the rising costs and demands of populations with soaring life expectancies.

In addition, the cosmetic and personal care markets are two of the fastest growing areas of consumer spending – people are increasingly prepared to spend more to make the most of their looks and wellbeing. This is a very exciting area on which to be focussing our venture capital activities and in which to be creating true partnerships between small emerging companies and larger national and global healthcare companies.”

The VCT will be managed by Longbow’s five investment professionals who together have a total of over 55 years of investment management experience. Since its formation, the Investment Team has invested over £30 million in 11 unquoted life enhancement companies and the team has a strong track record of making investments into companies that have products that are close to market or which have already been launched in the life enhancement and well being sectors.

Michael Walker, VCT Chairman, Longbow Capital LLP says: “The Longbow VCT offers an attractive and tax-efficient way for individuals looking for medium to long term opportunities, with investments that have the potential to make a real difference to peoples’ lives.”

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