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Barr Ellison Solicitors – commercial property
2 June, 2014 - 10:03 By Tony Quested

Imperial raising £150m as investee companies seek £100m growth cash


Cambridge and London based investment group Imperial Innovations is planning to raise £150 million to underpin future investments in its UK science and technology stronghold.

Based locally at the Babraham Research Campus, the company has also appointed former Cambridge Antibody Technology CEO Peter Chambré as a non-executive director.

Innovations, as the AIM-quoted organisation is known, is keeping its options open regarding the timing of the fundraising exercise. It wants to hit prime timing on the UK market and is also seeking shareholder approval on June 19.

Shareholders with beneficial interests in 89.5 per cent of Innovations' existing share capital have given irrevocable undertakings to vote in favour of the resolutions needed to enable the placing to proceed.

The net proceeds will help the group support its existing portfolio companies; source investment opportunities in new technologies using the group's extensive network of academics, entrepreneurs, management teams and co-investors; and be used for general corporate purposes.

Martin Knight, chairman of Innovations, said: “The board believes that strengthening the group's balance sheet through the placing would greatly enhance its ability to attract high quality investment opportunities

“It would also improve the group's ability to support portfolio companies from inception until their full development, as illustrated by the recent successful IPO of Circassia Pharmaceuticals.

“We have identified opportunities to increase the capital deployed in a number of our leading portfolio companies, which in aggregate, are seeking to raise over £100 million from investors over the next 12 months.”

Peter Chambré and Linda Wilding have become non-executive directors, subject to shareholder ratification.

Chambré has held a number of senior executive and non-executive positions in healthcare companies, including as CEO of CAT until its acquisition by AstraZeneca PLC in 2006, chairman of Apatech Limited (from 2008 to 2010, when it was acquired by Baxter International Inc) and non-executive director of BTG plc.

He is currently  chairman of four companies operating in the healthcare sector, including Cancer Research Technology, the cancer-focused technology development and commercialisation arm of Cancer Research UK, and is also a non-executive director of Spectris plc.

Linda Wilding has extensive experience in the private equity investment and healthcare sectors. Having qualified as a chartered accountant with Ernst & Young, from 1989 to 2001 she worked in the private equity division of Mercury Asset Management, rising to the position of MD.

She has served as a non-executive director (including as chairman) on the boards of a number of technology companies. She is currently chair of the HG Capital Private Equity Valuation Committee and a non-executive director of UDG Healthcare plc.

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