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Second launch planned for Oakley Capital-backed VCT

Start-up venture capital trust firm Pembroke plans to launch a second VCT in September.

Pembroke is backed by Oakley Capital, the private equity house partnering with Neil Woodford for his new asset management venture. Woodford leaves Invesco Perpetual in April.

Pembroke VCT chief executive Andrew Wolfson says the offer target is yet to be finalised, but the company is aiming for about £30m.

The first Pembroke VCT was launched in February aiming to raise £20m. It fell short at £16.4m, but is able to raise a further 10 per cent top-up using the same prospectus. 

Wolfson admits the lack of a track record has been an obstacle, despite Oakley Capital’s private equity background. But he says Pembroke has now invested £10.2m out of the total £16.4m in 14 consumer-facing firms, mostly London-based. It is carrying out due diligence on two other businesses to invest the rest of the money raised.

Hargreaves Lansdown head of VCT research Richard Troue says: “Pembroke has raised enough to demonstrate it has got a viable, ongoing proposition. It has enough to reach a critical mass.”

But he adds the firm is still the ”the new kid on the block” and will have to prove it can consistently return profits to shareholders.

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