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Atlantic crossing

North Atlantic Value, part of the JO Hambro Group, is looking for up to £5m for a C share top-up issue for the leisure & media venture capital trust.

This VCT was established in 2001 and initially raised £8.6m net of expenses. Current holdings include Nu Nu and Tomahawk pubs which have been individually accessible through enterprise investment schemes.

Money awaiting investment in suitable firms will initially be invested in a portfolio of treasury securities. It will then be used to expand and diversify the existing VCT portfolio. The firm feels the enhanced income tax reliefs introduced by the Finance Act 2004 will make this attractive to investors.

The VCT is managed by Maarten Hemsley who has over 10 years’ experience in private equity investing. North Atlantic Value was established in 2003 and specialises in private equity and small cap investing.

Hemsley will work with chartered surveyors HLL Sumberts Leisure, which specialises in the leisure industry. This relationship will form the basis of the identification of suitable investment opportunities, particularly established businesses with proven track records and asset backing.

Businesses with proven track records and asset backing are lower risk but this VCT is concentrated in a couple of sectors so if these industries perform badly, the VCT will not be able to invest in other sectors that are performing well.

Data from Trustnet shows the leisure & media VCT produced a negative return of24.2 per cent in the three years to November 25, 2004 while the other VCT in the media sector, Proven media, returned 6.8 per cent during the same period. Trustnet ranks the leisure & media VCT 36th out of 64 VCTs across all sectors over this period while the Proven media VCT is ranked 19th.

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