Puma VCT 13

Early bird saving of 1.0% on the initial charge

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

The VCT currently has a portfolio of eight qualifying investments, representing 91% of net asset value. The investee companies are relatively diverse, range 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. 

The VCT currently has net asset of £15.6 million, split across eight unquoted investments and a small portfolio of listed UK equities. Under the latest offer, the VCT is looking to raise up to £7.5 million with an over-allotment facility of £2.5 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 this tax year (2020/21)
  • 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. Together, the Puma VCTs, Puma EIS and Puma Alpha EIS have invested more than £235 million into 65 qualifying companies, with 33 full exits  – please note, past performance is not a guide to the future.

Justin Waine (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 latest video interview with Puma Private Equity managing director Rupert West:

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. Under this strategy, the VCT raised £15.5  million, of which £11.7 million has now been deployed into a  portfolio of eight investments.

In the latest AGM held 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.

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 9% assets, as at 29 February 2020) has, understandably, suffered from the recent 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, so it hasn’t achieved any exits or failures so far. 

Puma is an experienced VCT manager and has invested over £235 million into 65 qualifying companies across its previous VCTs and EIS funds. Of these, 33 resulted in full exits, although please note that previous funds invested under a different investment strategy than Puma VCT 13. 

Current portfolio overview

After launching in 2018, Puma VCT 13 raised £15.5 million. To date, £11.7 million has been invested in eight qualifying companies. The investments are split across different sectors, including technology, manufacturing, and leisure. In addition to this, around 6% of assets (as at 20 February 2020) were invested in quoted equity stocks as liquidity management.  

Example of portfolio companies

Pure Cremation – Puma Alpha VCTPure Cremation 

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. 

Pure Cremation offers its low-cost service across England, Scotland and Wales. Direct cremations currently represent just 4% of all cremations in the UK, versus 35% in the US. In 2019, Pure Cremation relocated to a new state-of-the-art crematorium which could help the company scale its business considerably.

The business has continued to perform strongly and is profitable, resulting in a valuation uplift of £1.3 million to £2.6 million. Puma VCT 13 originally invested £1.3 million into the business in November 2018 (as part of a total cumulative £7.35 million investment alongside other Puma VCTs).

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 were later forced to close as part of the policy response to Covid-19 and the holding has yet to be revalued. Since the easing of restrictions, The Lighterman has been able to reopen but Percy & Founders remains closed. 

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

Tictrac – Puma VCTTictrac Limited

Tictrac is a personalised health and wellness platform which 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.

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 NAV per share at the last financial year-end was 100.33p (as at 29 February 2020). Four of the qualifying companies have been adjusted in value, with three being written up and one down. However, it is important to note two of these holdings (Knott End Pub Company and Open House London Limited) are pub businesses, and as valuations were made before lockdown, they may not reflect current performance.

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 31/12/2014 - 30/09/2020.

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. 

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.

Please note the net asset value of the trust has not been revalued since February 2020, pre Covid-19.

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.

Full initial charge 3%
Early bird discount 1%
Wealth Club initial saving 1%
Existing shareholder discount 1%
Net initial charge through Wealth Club (new investors) 1%
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

Deadlines

  • 0% initial charge deadline: 18 December 2020 
  • Final allotment for 2020/21 tax year deadline: 3pm 30 March 2021
  • Final allotment for 2021/22 tax year deadline: 3pm 01 June 2021

Share buybacks

The VCT may operate a buyback policy at a 5% discount to the latest published net asset value. This is not guaranteed – please see the offer documents for details .

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.

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, across all of its offers, Puma Investments has raised over £450 million to date.

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% (3% existing investors)
Net initial charge
1% (0% existing investors)
Annual rebate
0.10%
Funds raised / sought
£1.2 million / £7.5 million
Deadline
18 Dec 2020 for early bird saving
Last updated: 9 October 2020

News about Venture Capital Trusts. Read all