Friday 10 September 2021 1:03 pm

Gresham House targets Mobeus' venture capital arm in £36m deal

Gresham House has acquired Mobeus Equity Partners’ top-performing venture capital trust (VCT) business in a £36m deal, three months after purchasing Ireland’s Appian Asset Management.

As part of its latest deal, the alternative asset manager will take on £369m assets under management that run across Mobeus’ four VCT funds.

Expected to complete in the next four weeks, Gresham’s acquisition of the funds will propel it to a combined £850m assets under management in the VCT sector – with a goal of becoming a “leading player.”

This acquisition substantially boosts our AUM, profitability and enhances our presence in the VCT segment, accelerating progress towards our GH25 targets,” said Gresham House chief executive Anthony Dalwood.

“The combination of Mobeus with Gresham House’s existing VCT business expands our scale and presence in the VCT segment, and our combined complementary strengths will bring what believe are considerable benefits to VCT investors.”

After an initial consideration of £24m, £12.1m will be payable for the acquisition over a three-year period, subject to certain criteria being met.

Gresham House is aiming to raise £40m through a placing, comprised of £20m cash placing of over 2m new ordinary shares of 25 pence each, priced at 910 pence per placing share.

The asset manager intends to use £26m of that raised to purchase Mobeus and the remaining £14m to fund development projects like battery storage and solar energy, which it said would be acquired by vehicles it manages and would “create value for shareholders.”

Upon completion, Mobeus partners Trevor Hope and Clive Austin will join Bevan Duncan and Ken Wotton to become the senior management team of Gresham House’s strategic equity division.

Growth on track

Alongside the takeover announcement, Gresham House reported operating pretax profit of £6.2m in the six months to 30 June, up from an operating pretax loss of £1.6m for the first half of 2020.

Adjusted operating profit – one of the company’s preferred metrics – rose 33 per cent to £6.9m

The asset manager also posted a 19 per cent rise in AUM to £4.7bn, with organic growth of 12 per cent (£453m), fuelled by its real estate division, including forestry, new energy, sustainable Infrastructure and housing.

Growth was largely driven by the firm’s £340m acquisition of Irish fund manager Appian Asset Management, completed at the end of June.

“The group has built an effective platform to grow AUM further by providing outstanding products in attractive asset classes,” said Dalwood.

“We are extremely well positioned for further growth in second half of 2021 and beyond,” he added.