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Lacomp takes to the early stage

The Lacomp British enterprise Fund 7 is an enterprise investment scheme fund that will invest in unquoted companies at an early stage of their development.

Lacomp was founded in 1985 by Peter Buxtorf to provide discretionary portfolio services for an international client base. As the previous EIS funds are now closed, this fund was established to take advantage of further investment opportunities Lacomp has identified.

The fund’s objective is to provide capital growth over a period of three to five years. An investment advisory panel, headed by Buxtorf, will construct the portfolio. The panel includes Simon Pannet, the former head of corporate finance at Beer & Partners, which specialises in raising money for small and start up companies.

The panel finds out about potential investments from a variety of sources including direct approaches and through contacts. When a company looks promising, there will be an initial appraisal, which is designed to see whether it is worthwhile paying for full due diligence.

The panel aims to find companies with good management teams, strong cashflow and which are experiencing a growing demand for their products and services.

Selected companies are monitored through monthly progress meetings and Lacomp will then look for best exit strategy from the company. This may be a flotation on the junior markets such as Aim, a management buyout, liquidation or the sale of assets.

The investment limit for income tax relief was doubled to £400,000 from £200,000 in the last Budget. However, the reduction in the limit on the gross assets immediately before investment to £7m from £15m is likely to detract from this as qualifying companies could potentially be more risky and less likely to succeed than those at the £15m end of the market.


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