On 29th April, against the backdrop of a challenging market environment, Amati AIM VCT plc, announced that its most recent Prospectus Offer of New Shares for the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 tax years had been fully subscribed. Given the uncertainty surrounding the identification of sufficient investment opportunities, the VCT Board decided against triggering a £20m ‘over-allotment’ at that time. However, the Managers continued to identify and make new investments, and with c£11.4m in new qualifying investments made since the start of the Company’s financial year (i.e. 1st February 2020), the VCT Board decided to re-open the Offer. The over-allotment facility closed on Friday 16th October with a further £19m raised, underlining the continuing popularity of VCTs and investor confidence in Amati’s proven experience in managing such investments. It brings the total raise for the Offer to £44m.
Leading commentators have been quick to celebrate Amati’s success, Jason Hollands, Managing Director, Business Development and Communications at Tilney Investment Management Services Ltd amongst them.
“Amati have concluded a very successful fund raising for the Amati AIM VCT despite a highly challenging backdrop. This bears strong testament to the excellent performance delivered by the VCT over multiple time periods and the disciplined investment process that underpins it. For us, this Offer really stood out as providing investors with access to a well-diversified portfolio of businesses at varying stages of maturity, from early-stage companies to those that have grown into global revenue earners.”Jason Hollands, Managing Director, Business Development and Communications at TIlney Investment Management Services Ltd.
Investors have enjoyed excellent returns from long-term investments in AIM quoted firms, with the Amati team successfully identifying many promising early-stage growth companies over the years – automotive testing systems provider AB Dynamics, identity management specialist GB Group and Keyword Studios, a global services provider to video games developers, amongst them. The £203m Trust has delivered a return of 199.4% since take on [25th March 2010, the Trust known as ViCTory VCT at that time], against a return of 47.6% for the Numis Alternative Markets Total Return Index².
The VCT rose by 0.8% against the benchmark gain of 0.2% during September, bringing year to date performance to 13.8%, with the benchmark at -0.5%. This strong performance reflects the Trust’s weightings to recent healthcare additions to the portfolio and the performance of Frontier Developments, which rose nearly 20% over the course of the month.
“Having deployed funds more quickly than might have been anticipated in the first half of 2020, it made good sense to re-build cash levels in anticipation of further attractive qualifying deals becoming available over the course of the next 12 months.
We look to make long-term investments in innovative businesses which have the potential to become successful and significant AIM-quoted growth companies. Qualifying investments from the early part of 2020, particularly the substantial follow-on investments we made in Polarean, Diurnal and Ilika have already made a significant contribution to performance. Polarean, having risen around fourfold since that investment, has become the largest holding in the portfolio. It is commercialising a lung imaging technology based on hyper-polarised Xenon129 gas, for which a New Drug Application has just been filed with the US Food and Drug Administration; we believe this represents a step change improvement over the current available options. Around 32% of the portfolio by value is now in the healthcare companies.”Dr Paul Jourdan, CEO of Amati