Law firm Howard Kennedy has kicked off the 2016/17 VCT season with the early launch of the Octopus Titan VCT from Octopus Investments. The new share offer from the UK’s largest venture capital trust is seeking to raise up to GBP120 million for its GBP309 million fund.
It follows last year’s unprecedented success, where Octopus raised GBP100 million in just seven months.
Octopus Titan VCT invests in a portfolio of early stage companies, a number of which have grown to be established house-hold names such as Zoopla Property Group, Graze.com and SwiftKey.
As well as being the first of the 2016/17 season, Octopus Titan VCT is the first VCT to accept monthly contributions from investors, with shares being issued every three months.
Partner Stephen Heinemann led the Howard Kennedy team, which included partner and head of capital markets Keith Lassman and capital markets associate Sian Dewing.
Howard Kennedy is the only English law firm able to act as both sponsor, through Howard Kennedy Corporate Services, and legal adviser to VCTs.
Heinemann says: “Octopus Investments is the largest VCT in the UK, traditionally first to launch its annual prospectus, and one of the most innovative. Last year, against expectations, VCTs raised record-breaking numbers. With innovative new products, such as this year’s offering from Octopus, the VCT investment market appears to be in excellent health despite the gloom elsewhere in the retail funds marketplace.”
In the 2015/16 VCT season, Howard Kennedy acted for 16 individual VCTs seeking to raise a total of GBP421.7 million. In the 2015/16 tax year a total of GBP457.5 million was raised by VCTs – the third highest amount on record and the most since 2005/06. In the past four years, the firm has advised 80 per cent of all VCTs to come to market, and nine of the 10 largest VCTs by funds under management.
The firm has a dedicated team of partners and staff advising VCTs through its FCA regulated arm, Howard Kennedy Corporate Services, which has been active in the market place since 1997, listing well over 150 companies over that period.