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Quester 5 on another fundraising round

Quester Capital Management is offering investors a fresh opportunity to invest in the Quester 5 venture capital trust, which was established in December 2001.

The VCT currently invests in a diversified portfolio of 23 unquoted companies at different stages of development. However, there is a bias towards early stage companies in the technology, healthcare and life science sectors because this is Questers particular area of expertise.

The objective of Quester 5 is to provide income and growth by investing mainly in unquoted companies which could include start ups and established businesses looking to trade on the Alternative investment market. Around 15 per cent of the portfolio will remain in a portfolio of equities and fixed-interest securities managed by Newton.

With 53.4 per cent of net assets currently invested in qualifying holdings, there is a limited capacity to make new investments using existing resources. The directors are keen to raise more money, enabling them to invest in new opportunities that come their way.

The director will look for companies run by able and ambitious entrepreneurs and management teams. The companies will need to have good growth potential and may l co-invest alongside Quester 4 VCT and the institutional Quester venture partnership fund.

Investors who are keen to make use of the temporary enhancements to VCT income tax relief may find this VCT appealing because it is an established VCT from an established group. However, although the portfolio is generally diverse, the bias towards technology and healthcare may increase the risk relative to other generalist VCTs.

Data from Trustnet ranks Quester 5 16th out of 25 generalist VCTs, having produced a negative return of 13.2 per cent over three years to January 13, 2005. The top-ranking VCT in this sector is the British Smaller Companies VCT, which produced a positive return of 78.2 per cent over the same period.

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