Foresight raises over £30m for Infrastructure VCT Shares making it the largest single VCT fundraising of the 2011/12 tax year

Key Highlights

  • In tax year 2011/2012 Foresight raised in excess of £40m:
    • £30m for Infrastructure VCT Shares
    • £8m for Foresight Solar VCT
    • £2m+ in top-up funds for its stable of four existing VCTs
  • Foresight’s Infrastructure VCT Shares was the single largest VCT fundraising in the tax year and was the top-ranked VCT by Tax Efficient Review
  • The VCT market total fundraising for 2011/2012 tax year was £262m, a decrease of 28% on 2010/2011 tax year (£363m)
  • Foresight was the leading VCT house in terms of funds raised for tax year 2011 / 2012 with a market share of 15.3%.

Foresight Group (Foresight) is delighted to announce another successful VCT fundraising season for tax year 2011/2012, having raised a total of £40m+, including more than £30m for its innovative Infrastructure VCT Shares.

While the total VCT market raised £262m in Tax Year 2011/12 - a decrease of 28% on 2010/11 (£363m), Foresight grew its market share to exceed 15%, its largest ever market share, which made it the UK’s leading VCT firm in terms of fundraisings.

Infrastructure VCT Shares accounted for the majority of funds raised, supported by Foresight Solar VCT at £8m and a further £2.4m in top ups across Foresight’s stable of VCTs. (see table below).

Mike Currie, Partner and Sales Director for Foresight, put the success of Infrastructure VCT Shares down to the fact that investors and advisers found the idea of investing in infrastructure projects within a tax-efficient VCT wrapper appealing given the attractive characteristics which can include:

  • Long-term contracts with Governmental or blue-chip counterparties
  • Protection from competition, because of natural monopolies, regulation or concessions granted by public authorities
  • Inflation-linked revenues over 10-50 year contract durations

    Mr Currie commented: “Our innovative Infrastructure VCT Share class has been extremely popular with investors this year. Offering a target return of 130p over five years, and with the endorsement of Tax Efficient Review which granted it the highest ranking for VCTs this fundraising season, infrastructure is the asset class of the moment, with its combination of diversification, steady yield and capital preservation.”

    Foresight now has over £260m of VCT funds under management, and continues to manage the most successful VCT of all time, Foresight VCT.

    Earlier this year Foresight launched Foresight ITS, an Inheritance Tax Solution product that uses Business Property Relief (BPR) qualifying investments to provide IHT exemption after two years. Foresight ITS is a discretionary investment management product that also targets infrastructure as the underlying asset class, investing in secondary PFI projects. Foresight ITS deploys investments swiftly to generate a steady and predictable income stream and a priority return to investors of 3% per annum.

    Ben Thompson, Group Marketing Director at Foresight said: “We worked alongside IFAs and Wealth Managers to design an inheritance tax solution for their clients that is simple, swift to implement and which leaves investors in control of their money. Infrastructure assets can have an attractive risk/reward profile when capital preservation is key.”

    Funds Raised Tax Year 2011/12 (£000s)
    Infrastructure VCT Shares - 30,000
    Foresight Solar VCT - 8,000
    Foresight VCT, 2 VCT, 3 VCT, 4VCT - 2,424

    ENDS

    For further information, please contact:
    Ben Thompson: bthompson@foresightgroup.eu / +44 (0)20 3667 8155

    Notes to editors:
    Foresight is an independent alternative asset manager, which focuses primarily on investments in unquoted UK and European companies or projects and offers investors exclusive access to attractive income and growth opportunities.

    Foresight has in excess of £650 million assets under management across a number of funds, including Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs).

    Foresight manages the most successful VCT of all time, Foresight VCT (source Tax Efficient Review), which has returned more than 100% of the fund to investors in dividend payments since launch in 1997. Foresight VCT was the best performing VCT in 2011 with a growth in its share price of 51% (Source AIC).

    In the solar sector, Foresight’s solar funds have already invested in more than £300 million of operating PV assets in the UK, Italy and Spain.

    Foresight recently successfully closed fundraisings for Foresight Solar VCT at £38m and Foresight Solar EIS at £27.5m.
    Foresight’s Private Equity team, comprised of eight investment professionals, invests between £1m and £5m in management buy-outs, management buy-ins and growth capital investments in UK SMEs. The strength and depth of the team has enabled Foresight to lead the consolidation of the VCT sector, taking over the management mandates of established VCTs, such as Advent VCT, Advent 2 VCT, Noble VCT, Keydata Income 1 and 2 VCTs, Acuity Growth VCT and Acuity 3 VCT, from other investment managers.