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Octopus Investments paves way for entrepreneurial UK


28th May 2008


Octopus Investments paves way for entrepreneurial UK
- Strong returns for investors – unique support for up to 30 unquoted companies -
- Octopus Investments is “Best VCT provider of the year, 2008” -

Octopus Investments Limited (‘Octopus’), one of the UK’s fastest growing alternative investment specialists, announces the launch of Octopus Titan VCT 3 plc (‘Octopus Titan 3’ or ‘the Fund’). The Offer, which is now open, will seek to raise up to £25 million in the 2008/2009 tax year. The Fund has the potential to support up to 30 unquoted UK companies with Octopus Investments offering additional and unique support to entrepreneurs in the UK.

This launch follows the continued demand seen by the Octopus Titan twin VCT (Octopus Titan 1 and 2) which has successfully raised over £30 million since launch in November 2007.

Like the previous Titan VCTs, Octopus Titan 3 has been designed to deliver strong returns to investors through investment into smaller unquoted UK companies. This market sector has traditionally generated substantially higher returns for investors than those associated with larger UK quoted companies.

In the 2007/2008 tax year, £219 million was raised by VCTs. Of this money, £32.5 million, or around 15% of all inflows, was raised by VCTs that are managed by Octopus (Source: AIC). In 2008, Octopus Investments was voted “Best VCT Provider of the Year” for the second consecutive year at the Professional Adviser Awards.

The typical deal size of any investment will range from £500k to £2 million with emphasis on opportunities within key market growth sectors. Risk will be minimised by ensuring that the underlying investment portfolio encompasses a broad range of sectors and no more than 10% of all proceeds raised will be invested into any one company.

At the end of the initial three year investment period, it is envisaged that 75% to 85% of all proceeds raised through Octopus Titan 3 will be invested across an underlying portfolio of between 20 and 30 unquoted companies. The remaining 15% to 25% will be invested into a combination of cash, money market securities and other funds managed by Octopus.

Octopus Ventures, Investment Managers to Octopus Titan 1 and 2 and a subsidiary of Octopus Investments, will oversee the investment strategy for Octopus Titan 3. Since its formation in 2000, the Octopus Ventures team has invested £17.7 million into 27 early stage unquoted companies and generated a realised annual rate of return of 61% from 11 liquidity events. Across the entire Octopus Ventures portfolio the unrealised annual rate of return is 29%.


Commenting on today’s announcement, Simon Rogerson, Chief Executive, Octopus Investments, said: “VCTs are one of the most attractive investment opportunities given the combination of substantial tax benefits they offer and the access they provide to what has historically been the UK’s best performing asset class. Octopus really is the right partner for UK entrepreneurs and I look forward to another exciting year ahead.

“The Octopus Ventures team has an outstanding record of identifying key investment opportunities that have driven fantastic results for our investors and I am very pleased that we are now in a position to offer Titan 3 to the market.”

Alex Macpherson, Chief Executive, Octopus Ventures, said: “There are a number of extremely interesting investment opportunities within the early stage arena at present and Octopus has worked tirelessly to capitalise on these opportunities. By working very closely with the Octopus Private Investor Group, we are uniquely positioned to be the power behind entrepreneurs in the UK.

“This, combined with our philosophy of ensuring we only invest in business propositions that we believe we can genuinely help grow, in association with the unique skills available within our Investor Group, will help us to generate attractive returns for investors in the earlier Titan VCTs and now Octopus Titan 3.”

-ENDS-

Contacts:

The Millbrook Partnership:
Michaela Hopkins/Emily Bastin
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7520 9455

Octopus PR
Rob Forbes
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7710 2840
Mob:+44 (0) 7525 264252

Notes to Editors

About Octopus Investments (www.octopusinvestments.com)
Established in 2000, Octopus Investments is one of the UK’s fastest growing alternative investment specialists, providing investors with access to a growing range of innovative investment products including VCTs, Enterprise Investment Schemes, Inheritance Tax Solutions, Business Property Relief Products and a range of UK equity OEICs.

Since its inception, Octopus Investments has doubled its customer base annually to over 13,000 today and grown its funds under management by 100% per annum to over £500 million. The Company enjoys leading positions in every market area in which it operates:

Leading VCT provider in the UK
* In 2008, IFAs voted Octopus the “Best VCT Provider of the Year” at the Professional Adviser Awards for the second consecutive year.

* Octopus VCTs have also been short-listed for “VCT of the Year” in each of the last three years.

* As at 1st October 2007, two of the VCTs managed by Octopus Investments, Eclipse VCT and Eclipse VCT 2, were the top two performing VCTs out of 26 generalist VCTs that raised funds in the 2004/2005 tax year (source: Tax Efficient Review).

Inheritance Tax Solutions significantly outperforming index
* Shares selected by the Inheritance Tax Solution team have averaged a performance of 33.5% versus -1.26% performance of the whole AIM market in the period from 1st January 2005 to 14th March 2008.

* Unlike gifts or trust solutions, Octopus Investments IHT products are fully exempt from inheritance tax after two years as opposed to seven years. They also ensure that customers can keep control of, and access to, their assets during their lifetime.

Top performing Smaller Companies OEICs
* The CF Octopus Opportunities Fund, which invests in a diversified portfolio of UK smaller companies, is the number one rated UK smaller companies fund (out of 53 funds) since inception in August 2007.

* In March 2008, Octopus launched the CF Octopus Dynamic Fund. This fund focuses on mis-priced stocks with a catalyst for re-rating. Like the CF Octopus Opportunities Fund, this Fund is designed to deliver absolute performance in all market conditions and has the flexibility to take short positions.

Largest provider of EIS solutions
* Octopus Investments is the largest provider of EIS solutions in the UK.

Leading private equity player in sub-£25million deals
* Octopus completes more deals annually within the sub-£25 million space than any other company.

Additionally, Octopus was recently voted the top UK financial services company to work for in the Sunday Times survey of “Best 100 SMEs to Work For” in 2008.

About Octopus Ventures (www.octopusventures.com)
Octopus Ventures, a subsidiary of Octopus Investments, is a ventures fund management company with support from a dedicated Octopus Private Investor Group, which provides many competitive advantages. The Private Investor Group was formed by a group of successful entrepreneurs and businessmen to provide capital and business expertise to small, fast growing companies. The Company received FSA authorisation in June 2000. Over the past seven years, the Octopus Ventures team has invested £17.7m into 27 companies and generated a return of 61% per annum (equivalent to 4x the amount invested) from 11 liquidity events. Across the entire portfolio (including those investments not yet realised), Octopus Ventures’ annual rate of return has been 29%.


Publisher Contact Information:

Octopus Ventures (www.octopusventures.com),
020 7520 9455
ov@millbrookpartnership.com

Company profile of Octopus Ventures
Past press releases of Octopus Ventures.

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