Venture & development capital

Venture & development capital

"Shoosmiths has an exceptional ability on providing sound and practical client advice on venture capital transactions. They continue to impress me with their knowledge and commercial approach."

Paul Beaumont

Investment Director, Downing LLP

Shoosmiths has a highly successful track record with venture capital and development capital transactions. We act on the full range of private equity, from smaller venture capital deals to the mid-market buy-outs.

We understand that venture capital and development capital is an important driver of innovation and growth, but carries with it a degree of risk from an investor's perspective.

We work closely with a number of VCTs across various sectors, giving us real expertise. Through our detailed knowledge of the market position on fund terms, structuring issues, tax issues and relevant competition law issues, we are able to adopt a commercial and proactive approach for clients.

Shoosmiths advise Downing LLP on investments by a number of VCT funds it manages. In 2011, the team advised Downing on many investments and advised several portfolio companies on acquisitions.

We advise Octopus Investments on investments by a number of VCT funds and EIS investors managed by Octopus into predominantly high growth technology businesses, including household names such as Zoopla and Graze.com. The team plays a full legal advisory role and inputs into structural planning issues as they affect the wider portfolio of investments managed by Octopus.

Our team has regularly advised Higher Education establishments on the creation of spin-out companies and the regulation of shareholder rights and relationships within those companies or subsequent investments post spin-out.

In addition, we frequently act for investee companies looking to grow with venture or development capital.

Our diverse practice and national footprint means we have unrivalled experience in advising on the terms of investments.

Work highlights

  • Acting on many investments for Downing LLP, including 8 in the last 12 months
  • Advised Octopus Investments on 26 completed VCT transactions in 2011
  • Advised Octopus on exits from portfolio companies, including the high profile exit from Lovefilm to Amazon
  • Advised the Benefex Group on the £4.2 million development capital investment by Business Growth Fund (BGF) which was BGF's first investment in the UK
  • Advised Cennox Plc on the £3 million equity investment by BGF