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Successful Exit Number Five for The Capital Fund
AIM-listed ArgentVive plc acquires information management systems developer Solcara


The Capital Fund has achieved its fifth successful exit from an investee company following the £4.5 million acquisition of Solcara Ltd by ArgentVive plc.

Since its foundation in 2001, Solcara has developed information management software that now delivers efficiency and productivity savings for over 130 blue chip clients in the UK and Europe. Companies as diverse as AstraZeneca, De Beers, VISA and Thomas Cook all benefit from Solcara’s systems that can facilitate knowledge exchange, information publishing and crisis management. The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Edinburgh City Council, the Metropolitan Police Service and 26 other police forces are among the public sector bodies on Solcara’s client roster.

Established in 2002, The Capital Fund is a £50 million venture capital fund that backs fast-growing small and medium-sized companies in the Greater London area, and is the largest of the nine UK regional venture capital funds. Solcara’s merger into ArgentVive has resulted in a highly profitable return on The Capital Fund’s original investment of £250,000 in July 2003.

Solcara’s founder, Ray Jackson, commented: “The Capital Fund’s investment came at a very important time in our commercial development. It enabled us to solidify the business and bring to market our four leading software products – Crisis Control Centre, Communications Centre, SolSearch and Know How. We were able to invest in technical development of the products and put in the place the sales and marketing expertise needed to launch them successfully.

Joining the ArgentVive Group is a great opportunity for Solcara to be part of a fast growing, well-funded quoted organisation. There are numerous exciting new markets that ArgentVive’s expertise will open up for Solcara’s products.”

Commenting on The Capital Fund’s role in Solcara’s success, Mr Jackson said: “The Capital Fund and the other regional venture capital funds are excellent examples of government-backed initiatives that really work. It can be very difficult for companies like Solcara to get venture capital funding, and supporting growing entrepreneurial businesses is just what The Capital Fund should be – and is – doing.”

Following the acquisition deal, Mr Jackson was appointed Managing Director of the ArgentVive Group and Chairman of Solcara. Rob Martin, previously head of Solcara’s information management division, is the new Solcara Managing Director.

Kevin Fleming, Finance Director of ArgentVive, said: “This is a landmark acquisition for ArgentVive. The acquisition of Solcara strengthens significantly our own management expertise, provides us with an impressive list of blue chip clients for our B2B division, and gives us access to valuable development resources, intellectual property and expertise. We believe this acquisition gives the group a solid infrastructure enabling us to scale the business through both the development of Solcara in its own right and the exploitation of Solcara’s leading technology for the benefit of other group companies.”

Benjamin Davis, Investment Manager at The Capital Fund, said: “We are delighted that the hard work of Ray Jackson and his team has been rewarded by the sale of Solcara to ArgentVive. This is a good result for the Fund and we are pleased that the Fund’s investment helped the management realise their potential.”

Solcara is the fifth portfolio company from which The Capital Fund has successfully exited. Avanti Screenmedia Group, a provider of satellite communications and consultancy services to UK businesses, floated on AIM in 2004. UK Explorer, a wired and wireless internet access solutions company, was acquired by Spectrum Interactive in 2005. Ekay plc, a full service advertising agency providing media planning buying design and production to clients across media types, floated on AIM in 2006. And, most recently, Touch Clarity, a provider of intelli


Publisher Contact Information:

The Capital Fund
+44 (0)1865 811199
m.henry@oxin.co.uk

Company profile of The Capital Fund
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