Budget initiative prompts angel to extend deadline

ANGEL investor Braveheart has extended the deadline for a major fund following the growth initiatives outlined in the Budget.

The Scottish firm, which puts money into unlisted technology companies, made the change to its Viking Growth Fund after George Osborne raised the income tax relief on the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) from 20 to 30 per cent and doubled the relief for entrepreneur tax to £10m.

Now Braveheart Investment Group has moved the deadline for applications from high-net worth individuals to June 30, from March 31. The upper limit for investment in the fund is £500,000 per person or £1m per couple and the minimum is £10,000.

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Geoffrey Thomson, chief executive of the group, said: “The Budget was extremely positive for those wishing to invest in high-growth, unquoted companies.

“For every one pound invested in the Viking Growth Fund one can set 30p against one’s income tax liability, and this can be carried back a year if wished. If the investment does well there is no capital gains tax to pay, whereas if a portfolio company fails, all the loss can be set against tax liability.

“The caveat to all this is that EIS is complex and there are rules which must be met in order to achieve these tax breaks. At Braveheart we have been running EIS investments since 1997 so we are well versed in the intricacies of administering the scheme.”

The fund was launched in January to provide UK investors with a portfolio of young companies with the potential to grow globally. It will be managed by Braveheart Ventures, a subsidiary of the group.

Perth-based Braveheart bought Yorkshire investment firm Inkopo two years ago in a deal worth up to £1.31m, renaming it Viking Fund Managers – not to be confused with Viking Growth Fund.

Aim-listed Braveheart Investment Group has interests in 43 portfolio companies, through either direct investments or the management of client or fund portfolios.

Last night Margaret Wood, regional chairman of the Institute of Directors, gave her support to the Treasury scheme to make it easier for wealthy individuals or organisations to invest in small businesses but called on Ministers to make sure it worked smoothly.

“We definitely need the enterprise. My concern is that it is correctly managed.

“The people running small businesses usually know the business but they don’t know how to tick all the boxes to access funding.

“We need some sort of partnership or brokerage.”

Last year the Yorkshire Post called on the Government to make it more tax-friendly for entrepreneurs to invest in small businesses.

“We are seeing manufacturing changing and the economy changing,” Mrs Wood said. “That support from the Government is vital.”