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Close adds to Technology & General VCT

Close Venture Management is aiming to raise up to 35m through a C share offer for the Close Technology & General venture cpaital trust.

This VCT aims for income and growth by investing in a combination of companies in the technology sector and unquoted shares in other sectors. It has raised 14.4m from private investors since its launch in December 2000.

The technology portfolio provides a highly diversied exposure to the sector through a spread of international quoted technology stocks and unquoted UK technology investments in sub-sectors from software to healthcare. The quoted technology investments comprise over 35 holdings in mid cap technology businesses which are mainly quoted on Nasdaq.

Close Venture Management, which runs eight VCTs with total assets of 193m, has appointed Reabourne Technology Investment Management on a discretionary basis to take care of the nternational quoted technology portfolio. The unquoted portfolio covering technology and other sectors has investments in 28 companies.

Non-technology investments will be mainly in established businesses, with an emphasis on those owning freehold or long leasehold property. Investments are structured as a mixture of secured loans and ordinary shares, as this lowers the risk the VCT takes on.

Although the C share class will initially be separated from the ordinary share class, they will merge following an annual general meeting to be held in 2011.
The technology sector has been out of fashion since the dotcom bubble burst but some managers have recently seen evidence of a revival iu its fortunes, although this should not be over-estimated. The level of risk may be higher at times where the porffolio invests in earlier stage companies. There are also sector sepcific risks in technology such as the technology becoming obselete or being a commercial failure.

Howver, mixing technology with other sectors ensures diversity that a pure technology VCT would not have.

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