Puma VCT 13

Puma VCT 13 was originally a limited life VCT. In August 2020, the trust moved to an evergreen structure.

As at February 2021, the VCT has net assets of £22.9 million, split across nine unquoted investments (including one exited since) and a small portfolio of listed UK equities. The investee companies are relatively diverse, ranging from a fitness technology platform to a microbrewery franchise. Going forward, the VCT will adopt the same strategy as the Puma Alpha VCT and will target scale-up opportunities across a number of sectors. 

In June 2021, the VCT achieved its first exit under the current strategy, resulting in a 4x return on the VCT’s original investment. Past performance is not a guide to the future.

Under the latest offer, the VCT is looking to raise up to £25 million with an over-allotment facility of £5 million.

Important: The information on this website is for experienced investors. It is not advice nor a research or personal recommendation to invest. If you’re unsure, please seek advice. Investments are for the long term. They are high risk and illiquid and can fall as well as rise in value, so you could get back less than you invest.

Read important documents and apply

Highlights

  • Previously a limited life VCT, now with an evergreen structure
  • New investments will focus on scale-up opportunities
  • Investors will have access to an existing portfolio of eight qualifying investments
  • 0.10% annual rebate for three years through Wealth Club
  • Available for tax year 2021/22 and 2022/23
  • Minimum investment £5,000 – you can apply online

The manager

Puma VCT 13 is managed by the private equity arm of Puma Investments. The lead manager is Rupert West, an experienced investment professional.

Puma has a 24-year track record of investing in small and medium-sized enterprises in the UK through its VCT and EIS products since 2005. 

The Puma VCTs together with Puma EIS and Puma Alpha EIS have raised over £332 million since 2005. Together, the Puma VCTs have invested into 50 qualifying companies, achieving 34 full exits – please note, past performance is not a guide to the future. When combined with investments from Puma EIS and Puma Alpha EIS, those figures rise to over £247 million invested into 71 qualifying companies.

Dr Stuart Rollason (manager of Puma’s AIM IHT portfolio) is responsible for managing the VCT’s quoted equity portfolio, which focuses on UK centric stocks, main market equities.

Watch our video interview with Puma Private Equity managing director Rupert West (October 2020):

Investment strategy

Puma VCT 13 originally listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2018 as a limited life VCT. At this point, it targeted established, income-yielding, UK SMEs with the intention of winding up seven to nine years later. 

In August 2020, the VCT’s shareholders passed a resolution to reopen the VCT, this time as an evergreen trust. As a result, the VCT will be managed by the same team and will follow the same investment mandate as Puma Alpha VCT and EIS.

It is expected that new investments will be in scale-up opportunities. Investee companies should be well managed, established, unquoted companies with revenues of between £3-£15 million and limited external debt. Investments will primarily be in the form of ordinary equity and loan notes.

New investment opportunities will be sourced from Puma’s established network of deal introducers and entrepreneurs. The investment team are anticipating deal flow to be particularly strong as the market emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic due to considerable demand for equity finance from strong but cash-starved growth businesses. 

Given the similarity in investment strategy, it is expected that Puma VCT 13 will co-invest with Puma Alpha VCT and Puma Alpha EIS on the majority of its investments.

Covid-19 impact

While Puma has always remained in close contact with its investee companies it has significantly increased its interactions in light of the pandemic. The portfolio is now reviewed on a weekly basis, with specific focus on each company’s cash management and outlook.

As well as trying to mitigate losses, the team has also tried to position companies to help them capitalise on any potential growth opportunities. This has involved aggressive cost savings, using support schemes where appropriate, and focusing on adapting to new consumer and business behaviours. 

The VCT’s portfolio of quoted equities (accounting for 6% assets, as at 28 February 2021) has suffered from market volatility. However, the investment team is confident the overall portfolio is well-positioned and capable of delivering returns to investors within the expected time horizon, please note, returns are not guaranteed.

Exit track record

The VCT’s portfolio is still relatively young. It has suffered no failures to date, although these are to be expected, and in June 2021 achieved its first profitable exit under the current strategy, with the sale of Pure Cremation. 

Puma is an experienced VCT manager and has backed 50 qualifying companies across its previous VCTs. Of these, 34 resulted in full exits (including Pure Cremation), although please note previous funds invested under a different investment strategy than Puma VCT 13. 

Current portfolio overview

After launching in 2018, Puma VCT 13 has invested £12.4 million has been invested in nine qualifying companies (of which one has been sold). The investments are split across different sectors, including technology, manufacturing, and leisure. In addition to this, around 6% of assets (as at 28 February 2021) were invested in quoted equity stocks as liquidity management. 

Example of portfolio companies

Le Col – Puma Alpha VCTLe Col Holdings Limited (largest holding)

Le Col is a premium cycling apparel brand founded by former professional cyclist, Yanto Barker. The brand aims to bring professional-level kit to the amateur market, whilst still acknowledging technical sportswear’s increasingly fashion-led desirability. The business manufactures its clothing in its own factory in Italy.

Revenues have continued to grow strongly through 2020, particularly in e-commerce. This has been the brand’s largest sales channel during the pandemic, as cycling was a permitted form of exercise. The business has sponsored Team Bahrain McLaren, which is helping expand the brand internationally. Le Col has partnerships with Bradley Wiggins and the online social fitness network Strava. Both have aided revenue growth.

Puma has invested a total of £4.85 million across its VCT and EIS funds, of which £1 million through Puma VCT 13. The investment has seen a sizable markup in its valuation and is now valued at £3.4 million compared with an investment cost of £1 million (28 February 2021): note past performance is not a guide to the future.

Open House London – Puma VCTOpen House London Limited

Open House operates two high-end dining and drinking venues in London, The Lighterman in King’s Cross and Percy & Founders in Fitzrovia. 

The company was launched by the team formerly behind Cubitt House, an award-winning restaurant business that established four premium sites across central London. The team is now looking to replicate this strategy and will target large-scale venues within London’s major growth areas. 

The business had been performing strongly, with continued growth and significant EBITDA generation from the Lighterman in particular. This resulted in an uplift in the value of the holding to £2.275 million, a gain of £475,000 in the year to February 2020. However, both units suffered as a result of the policy response to Covid-19. In the annual results to 28 February 2021, the holding now represents a small uplift on cost – past performance is not a guide to the future. 

The VCT invested £1.8 million into the company in February 2019, as part of a £5 million investment round alongside other Puma funds. 

Tictrac – Puma VCTTictrac Limited

Tictrac is a personalised health and wellness platform that collates day-to-day data from consumers through wearable fitness trackers to give people targeted information to help improve their health. The Company collaborates with experts and centres of expertise in health, behavioural change and data science. Its customers include some of the world’s biggest healthcare providers and insurers, including Aviva, Allianz and Prudential.

With a renewed emphasis on the need for employers to engage with the health and wellbeing of their employees during lockdown, Tictrac chose to make its platform available on a free trial basis to UK employers during the crisis. This has resulted in a strong pipeline of potential new clients for the business. 

The VCT invested £1.85 million in March 2020 as part of a £5 million investment round. The holding is currently valued at £3.2 million (28 February 2021) – past performance is not a guide to the future.

Pure Cremation – Puma Alpha VCTPure Cremation (example of recent exit)

Pure Cremation is the UK’s leading national provider of direct cremations. The company handles the practical aspects of physical care and cremation and returns the ashes to the families, leaving them free to create their own farewell ritual, when, where and how they want. The service is typically significantly cheaper than traditional funerals and much more flexible. 

In 2019, Pure Cremation relocated to a new state-of-the art crematorium facility which significantly reduced its per-unit costs. This, together with the company’s expansion into other end-of-life services, helped the company move into profitability and grow revenues by over 10x during Puma’s investment period. 

An exit was secured for the company in June 2021, resulting in a 4x return on the VCT’s original investment of £1.3 million. Past performance is not a guide to future returns.

Performance and dividends

The VCT aims to pay annual dividends in the range 4p to 6p per share from income received from its investments, which may also be paid in the form of special dividends if portfolio companies are sold at a profit.

It is expected that earlier dividends may be lower, potentially increasing in subsequent years as the investments mature. Please remember, dividends are variable and not guaranteed. 

The latest NAV per share was 125.77p (February 2021), up from 111.59p. Three of the qualifying companies are held significantly above cost (Le Col Holdings, MyKindaCrowd and Tictrac), two are held at a modest uplift to cost (Influencer and Open House) one is held at cost (ABW Group) and two are currently held below cost (Dymag Group, and Hot Copper Pub Company). 

Source: Morningstar. Past performance is no guide to the future. Dividends are variable and not guaranteed. The bar chart shows net asset value and cumulative dividends per share for the period 31/12/2018 - 30/06/2021

Risks: important

This, like all investments available through Wealth Club, is only for experienced investors happy to make their own investment decisions without advice. 

VCTs are high-risk so should only form part of a balanced portfolio and you should not invest money you cannot afford to lose. They also tend to be illiquid and hard to sell and value. Before you invest, please carefully read the Risks and Commitments and the offer documents to ensure you fully understand the risks. 

To retain the tax benefits, VCTs should be held for at least five years. If you sell VCT shares and reinvest in new shares of the same VCT (including any mergers) within six months, tax relief can be restricted. Tax rules can change and benefits depend on circumstances.

VCTs can now only invest new money in growth capital deals. Management buyouts, replacement capital deals and investments in mature companies are no longer permitted. This results in considerably higher risks.

The risks and investment objectives are different with each VCT, but with a significant proportion of the combined portfolios invested in property-owning businesses, investors are likely to be exposed to commercial property.

Charges and savings

A summary of the main charges and savings is shown below. The net initial charge shown includes the Wealth Club saving and any early bird discount. The investment may have additional charges and expenses: please see the provider documents including the Key Information Document for more details.

Please note, capacity – for the offer or any early bird savings – can be reached early, and we may not be notified of this by the VCT in real time.

Full initial charge 3%
Early bird discount 1.5%
Wealth Club initial saving 1%
Existing shareholder discount 1%
Net initial charge through Wealth Club (new investors) 0.5%
Net initial charge through Wealth Club (existing shareholders) 0%
Annual management charge 2%
Annual administration charge 0.35%
Performance fee 20%
Annual rebate from Wealth Club (for three years) 0.10%

More detail on the charges

Share buybacks

Once its portfolio has become more mature, the VCT intends to buy back shares at up to a 5% discount to the prevailing published net asset value. This is not guaranteed – please see the offer documents for details .

As with all new VCTs, the directors of Puma VCT 13 expect that there will be limited demand for share buybacks from Shareholders within the first five years because the only sellers are likely to be deceased Shareholders’ estates and those Shareholders whose circumstances have changed (to such extent that they are willing to repay the 30% income tax relief in order to gain access to the net proceeds of the sale). Puma VCT 13 is yet to buy back any shares. There is a large share price discount to net asset value. 

Discount history

VCT shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange. Similar to investment trusts, the share price can fluctuate and can be different from the VCT’s net asset value (NAV), i.e. the value of the VCT’s underlying investments. The difference between the share price of a VCT and its net asset value per share is called a discount.

Investors should note the VCT has less than a five year track record. Trading of the VCTs shares will be immaterial and any consideration of the share price movements in relation to the net asset value per share will be inconclusive. The discount history chart will be published once the VCT has a five year track record.

Investors looking to sell their VCT shares may get a better price using the VCT’s share buyback facility, although this is not guaranteed.

Dividend Investment Scheme

There is no dividend reinvestment scheme. 

Annual rebate when you invest through Wealth Club

The Puma VCT 13 includes an annual rebate for Wealth Club investors, payable for the first three years. 

This is a rebate of our renewal commission and should be equivalent to 0.10% of the Net Asset Value of the Offer Shares issued to you when you invest. Terms and conditions apply.

Deadlines

  • Deadline for early bird saving: 30 November 2021 (extended from 30 September)
  • Deadline for receipt of applications for final allotment in 2021-22 offer: 12.00 noon on 5 April 2022
  • Deadline for receipt of applications for final allotment in 2022-23 offer: 12.00 noon on 31 May 2022

Our view

Puma Investments has launched and managed fourteen VCTs. The business has a long track record of investing in small and medium-sized businesses in the UK. In total, the Puma VCTs together with Puma EIS and Puma Alpha EIS have raised over £332 million since 2005.

Puma VCT 13 should benefit from this experience, as well as the larger resources of the wider Puma Investment business. The similarity in investment mandates between Puma’s other VCTs and EIS service should allow the trust to co-invest on the majority of its deals. This collaboration could prove attractive to potential investee companies.

Wealth Club aims to make it easier for experienced investors to find information on – and apply for – tax-efficient investments. You should base your investment decision on the provider's documents and ensure you have read and fully understand them before investing. This review is a marketing communication. It is not advice or a personal or research recommendation to buy the investment mentioned. It does not satisfy legal requirements promoting investment research independence and is thus not subject to prohibitions on dealing ahead of its dissemination.

The details

Type
Generalist
Target dividend
4p–6p
Initial charge
3%
Initial saving via Wealth Club
2.5% (3.5% existing shareholders)
Net initial charge
0.5% (0% existing shareholders)
Annual rebate
0.10%
Funds raised / sought
£6.9 million / £25.0 million
Deadline
30 Nov 2021 for early bird saving
Last updated: 5 August 2021

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