Mercia’s £70m flotation wins deal of the month

Extracted from Insider Media (, 19th January 2015.

Mercia’s £70m flotation on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market has clinched Insider’s Deal of the Month for December 2014.

The specialist technology investor started trading on the 18 December. It set up new company Mercia Technologies plc, which has become the parent of Mercia Fund Management (MFM).

Mercia manages £22m in third party funds via MFM and has invested about £16m with a portfolio of businesses in varying stages of development. At admission, the group had direct investment in 11 operating companies.

“The Mercia flotation rates as the Deal of the Month because of the implications it has for developing the Midlands as a centre of innovation,” said Kurt Jacobs, editor of Midlands Business Insider.

“Mercia has a great track record in investing in some of the region’s cutting edge business – helping Coventry’s Abzena, which develops protein and peptide-based drugs, to a position where it could raise £20m on AIM last year was just one of its notable successes.”

Mercia is backed by Henley-in-Arden-based private equity fund Forward Group, which was set up by Ray Chamberlin in 1999, a leading venture capitalist in the West Midlands.

Jacobs added: “Despite the importance of equity investment in business development, genuine cutting edge businesses still face serious challenges in getting venture capital funding because of the high risks, the relatively long time needed for returns, and because investors don’t really understand the products.

“So having another £70m on our doorstep to put into these important companies will be of huge importance to the Midlands’ economy, long term.”