0 Govt’s $7.8 million funding boosts NZ hi-tech start-ups

“The incubators programme is an important part of growing new industries for New Zealand in areas like ICT and hi-tech manufacturing.”

James Henderson (Computerworld New Zealand)

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce has welcomed a successful first year for innovative start-ups receiving repayable grants from the new technology incubators funded through Callaghan Innovation.

The Technology Incubator Programme has so far approved funding of $7.8 million for 18 hi-tech companies through the repayable loan scheme, with each receiving up to $450,000 over two years.

The technologies invested in cover the ICT, sensing and automation, food and beverage technology, advanced material, design and manufacturing, and biotech industries.

“The incubators programme is an important part of growing new industries for New Zealand in areas like ICT and hi-tech manufacturing,” Joyce says.

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0 Carpet Court sold to Australian fund manager

An Australian fund manager has bought up the Carpet Court business, which has 60 shops around the country and is planning to expand it.

The optimism of that purchase is matched by the misery of the seller, private equity group Lincoln Capital Partners, which has seen all the equity it had invested in Carpet Court lost.  The Carpet Court business is the largest flooring retailer in the country and was owned by Flooring Brands, which was set up in 2004 with the aim of becoming the largest flooring retailer in New Zealand.

But today Australian fund manager Allegro Funds said it had bought a controlling stake in Carper Court, and once the deal was completed and funds injected into operation, it would be free of bank debt.  Rodney Martin from Lincoln Capital Partners said: “I lost all my equity in the deal.”

Martin said he now planned to go to the United Kingdom to pursue opportunities there.  He said the deal with Allegro followed Flooring Brands’ bank, Westpac losing patience with its progress.  “It wasn’t in financial trouble, but our bank had nevertheless lost patience with us after having been up against it through the global financial crisis and for a couple of years after that,” he said.

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0 The Venture Capital & Private Equity Country Attractiveness Index
IESE Business School present the results of a comprehensive research project on how to measure the attractiveness of a country for investors in Venture Capital and Private Equity limited partnerships. The project was initiated at IESE Business School Barcelona in 2006 with a European pilot study. From the European study we gained experience and the confidence to extend the study globally. Since 2006 two professors, two doctoral students, and many research assistants have worked on the project. We selected and collected more than 300 different data series from all kind of providers – ranging back to 2000. We attempted to include as many countries as possible in the study, and handled more than 200,000 individual data records.
Investors in Venture Capital and Private Equity funds have a key objective: to get access to transactions with satisfying risk and return ratios. They look globally to achieve their goals, and often set their sights on emerging regions. To find prime investment opportunities, investors generally look several years down the road and focus on specific factors like: economic activity (GDP, inflation, unemployment rate); size and liquidity of capital markets; taxation; investor protection and corporate governance; the human and social environment (including human capital, labor market policies and crime); and entrepreneurial culture and opportunities (including innovation capacity, the ease of doing business and the development of high-tech industries). The idea of the Venture Capital and Private Equity Country Attractiveness Index is to take into account all of these factors across different nations and to determine the relative positioning of particular economies and regions as they stand in relation with respect to their attractiveness for investment in Venture Capital and Private Equity assets.

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0 NZVIF support for early stage investment extended

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce today announced that the Government is extending its underwrite of the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF) through to 2022.

“NZVIF plays an important role in developing the start-up and growth capital markets for New Zealand-originated companies with high-growth potential,” says Mr Joyce.

“It has been instrumental in building up New Zealand’s angel and venture capital investor markets from small beginnings to the point where private and public venture capital investment since 2003 has reached $1.1 billion. The angel investment formal market has provided a further $353 million since it started in 2006.

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0 Allegro eyes new opportunities with closure of second fund

Turnaround specialist Allegro Funds (Allegro) has raised $180 million to successfully complete the capital raising for its second investment fund, Allegro Fund II, which was oversubscribed.
Investors in the fund included Australian superannuation firms, which made up more than half the fund, along with offshore institutions such as global fund of funds, family offices and a major New Zealand sovereign institution.
Allegro is an Australian private equity fund manager that invests in private mid-market businesses within Australia and New Zealand with revenue of more than $50 million that require an investment of between $10 and $50 million.
Allegro Founding Partner Chester Moynihan said the company’s investment model had enabled it to turnaround previously underperforming businesses. “Allegro has established a successful track record of investing in businesses that need transformational capital and expertise to grow,” he said.

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