Howard Kennedy advised Guinness Ventures on its first VCT launch

"Three colleagues at meeting

New VCTs are a rare occurrence, with Guinness VCT being only the third to have launched successfully on the London Stock Exchange in the last decade.

London law firm Howard Kennedy is pleased to have successfully advised Guinness Ventures, the growth company investment arm of Guinness Global Investors, on the launch of its first Venture Capital Trust (VCT) called Guinness VCT, seeking to raise some £30m. 

Guinness Ventures raised over the minimum target fundraise and has made the first issue of shares in Guinness VCT. The shares will be admitted to the London Stock Exchange, with the offering remaining open for subscriptions. Guinness has over £5bn of assets under management .

Guinness VCT will select companies according to three criteria: strong management, growth prospects and competitive positions, in support of the UK economy. The VCT will also provide exposure to a range of sectors including technology, education, e-commerce, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, leisure and food and drink.

The Howard Kennedy team, led by Keith Lassman and supported by Matthew Astbury and Scott McLean, advised on and project managed the entire listing and fundraising process for Guinness VCT, as well as securing its FCA approval. 

As the only English law firm accredited as an FCA sponsor, Howard Kennedy was also able to provide Guinness Asset Management with sponsorship advice. 

Keith Lassman, Partner and Head of Capital Markets at Howard Kennedy said: “In our current macro-economic climate, access to capital for small companies and start-ups is no easy feat. A VCT, however, is well placed to invest and support UK businesses in their growth stages as they look to scale-up their operations. Additionally, VCTs help investors diversify their portfolios by gaining access to companies that are innovative and have the potential to shape our future. We look forward to continuing to work with Guinness Global Investors and hope to see more of these popular products come to market.” 

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Howard Kennedy has built unrivalled expertise in this field and so Keith Lassman and his team were the obvious choice for delivering what is only the third successful VCT launch on the London market in a decade. Keith's experience and straightforward approach, supported by his very capable team, have been a real asset throughout the process.

Shane Gallwey, Head of Guinness Ventures and Investment Manager of Guinness VCT


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