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EIS Crowd 19 September 2019

  • BY: Andrew Hore |
  • POSTED: 23/09/2019 |

Surrey County Cricket mini-bond on offer

Surrey County Cricket Club has announced the details of its mini-bond and Surrey members will have priority for subscriptions until 30th September. The bond has a fixed term of five years and has an annual interest rate of 4.5%. Tax of 20% will be taken off the bi-annual interest payment.

The club is seeking at least £5m and is willing to raise up to £7m if there is demand. The minimum subscription is £2,000 and it can be increased in increments of £1,000 until it reaches the maximum of £250,000. If the members do not take up the full amount it will be offered to non-members up until 15 October. The previous mini-bond issue was oversubscribed.

Holders of the existing mini-bonds are being given the chance to extend them until the September 2024 redemption date for the new bonds. If they do not want to then they will receive their money back as planned.

The new cash will fund the latest development of the Kia Oval, which starts in October. Planning permission was obtained for the development of the Lock Laker stand last November. There will be extra seating, both for members and non-members, a new restaurant for members and additional conference facilities.

The development will cost £31m with a £12m loan already arranged with Allied Irish Bank. The ground’s capacity will increase to 28,000.


Unicorns getting faster
Beauhurst has published a report on unicorns and argues that companies are reaching unicorn status even faster than previously.

Unicorns are defined as companies started after 2003 that have reached a valuation of at least $1bn, or round £800m. Beauhurst identifies 21 UK companies that fit the criteria, which includes five where there have been exits. Three are spinouts. Powa Technologies achieved unicorn status and then went into receivership.

It generally takes four or five rounds of finance before a company reaches unicorn status. Fintech and finance, artificial intelligence and food and drink are the main sectors. Funding Circle, Zoopla and Just Eat have floated on the Main Market in London, while Skyscanner and Farfetech both joined the New York Stock Exchange. Zoopla has been bought and Just Eat is about to be taken over. Skyscanner has also been acquired.

CMR Surgical, which recently raised additional funds, is the latest company to become a unicorn. The Cambridge-based business provides robot-assisted surgery services through its system, Versius.

One of the unicorns is gas and electricity supplier OVO Energy, sponsor of the Tour of Britain cycling race, which has agreed to buy SSE Energy Services for £400m in cash and £100m in loan notes. The deal should complete by the beginning of 2020. Bristol-based OVO took ten years to become a unicorn and this happened earlier this year after a £200m investment from Mitsubishi Corporation. Even before the SSE purchase OVO had 1.5 million customers and it plans to expand outside of the UK.

Potential new unicorns include renewable electricity supplier Bulb, provider of debit card machines to small businesses PaymentSense, payment processor SumUp and peer-to-peer lender Zopa.


Cold-pressed sauced maker The Saucy Affair has launched a crowdfunding via Seedrs. The healthy sauces company is seeking £350,000 of investment and that would equate to a 7% stake in the enlarged share capital.

The strategy is to grow revenues to more than £6m in three years. This involves relaunching under the new brand Tanya’s Just Real, which focuses on the real ingredients used in the sauces. A dip range will be launched next year and there are further new products in development.

The first 50 people to invest will receive complimentary samples of all six products in the existing range.


Intelligent Partnership is holding a series of showcase presentations by EIS providers in six cities around Britain. They will cover the experience of the fund manager, the objective of the fund, what investments are in the fund and the level of charges.
The first is in Exeter on 12 November, followed by events in Glasgow, London, Cheshire, Wetherby and ending in Southampton on 27 November.

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