- Shareholders tapped to boost “investment firepower”
- Fundraise follows a blistering period of portfolio growth
Full-year numbers for Draper Esprit (GROW) arrived this week in a hail of updates from the listed venture capital firm. Top of the agenda was a plan to raise around £111m through the sale of new shares – the fifth time the group has tapped equity investors for at least £100m in secondary funding since its 2016 IPO.
The terms of the placing – an 8 per cent premium to net asset value, and just 4.6 per cent below the shares’ undisturbed price – reflect much-improved market sentiment. This time round, retail shareholders were also given the opportunity to invest on level terms with the institutional investors and directors, thanks to a subsidiary offer via PrimaryBid.
The equity market access group was one of several later stage investments for Draper in an exceptional year to March. Alongside new stakes in used car online marketplace Cazoo and fraud detection specialist Ravelin, Draper also banked £206m of cash realisations after exiting or selling down positions in Peak Games, Transferwise and recent London market debutant, Trustpilot (TRST).
This helped boost the portfolio value by 58 per cent, highlighting not only strong investor demand and excellent market liquidity in technology companies, but also Draper’s ability to pick winners. Just three of the group’s 17 largest investments saw negative revaluations over the last year, and then only by a combined £3.6m, against a total fair value gain of £357.8m.
After a blistering period, growth expectations have been revised down to 15 per cent for the coming financial period. But a widening pipeline of follow-on investments justifies the premium to NAV. Buy.
Last IC View: Buy, 650p, 30 Nov 2020
|DRAPER ESPRIT (GROW)|
|ORD PRICE:||828p||MARKET VALUE:||£1.2bn|
|TOUCH:||827-829p||12-MONTH HIGH:||898p||LOW: 430p|
|DIVIDEND YIELD:||NIL||PE RATIO:||4|
|NET ASSET VALUE:||743p||NET CASH:||£158m|
|Year to 31 Mar||Fee income (£m)||Pre-tax profit (£m)||Earnings per share (p)||Dividend per share (p)|