The Shelley media fund 4 is an enterprise investment scheme fund that invests in companies producing film, television programmes and video games. It will hold firms with the potential to provide sustained growth despite economic uncertainty, with the expectation that most of the firms in the portfolio will produce films and television programmes.
Ingenious Ventures, manager of the fund, expects the portfolio to produce tax-free returns of 13.6 per cent a year, which it says is equivalent to a gross return of 27.2 per cent a year for high-rate taxpayers.
The company, which is experienced in both the EIS market and the entertainment sector, says investors in this fund can benefit from the increased rate of 30 per cent income tax relief against their 2011/12 income tax liability. This tax relief limits investor risk, but Ingenious also intends to minimise risk and maximise potential returns by finding investment opportunities that are supported by minimum revenue streams.
The intention is to preserve capital by investing only in opportunities that are commercially viable and use government tax incentives and/or contracted pre-sales from top distributors. Ingenious also expects companies in the portfolio to negotiate a share of the profits from the films, tv programmes or video games they produce.
As well as income tax relief, the EIS allows the deferral of capital gains tax for gains realised within three years before, or up to 12 months after, investments are made by the fund in to the unquoted companies. No CGT is payable on returns made from the EIS qualifying investments and if held for more than two years, shares in this EIS fund should qualify for IHT relief.
Ingenious is an experienced manager of EISs and VCTs, and is also well known for its investment experience in the entertainment sector. Its conservative approach to managing the portfolio, with a focus on capital preservation and investing in firms that can show that they have minimum contracted revenue streams, may provide comfort for some investors.
However, the high potential returns of investing in unquoted firms in the entertainment sector through an EIS fund will still be matched by higher than average risks.