IP Group plc acquires Parkwalk, the UK’s largest EIS growth fund manager focused on university spin-outs
IP Group plc (LSE: IPO) (“IP Group” or “the Group”), the developer of intellectual property-based businesses, is delighted to announce that it has agreed to acquire Parkwalk Advisors Ltd (“Parkwalk”), the UK’s leading university spin-out focused EIS fund manager.
Founded in 2009, Parkwalk is the largest EIS growth fund manager focused on university spin-outs, having raised over £100m to date with the majority of funds coming from leading private wealth platforms and having backed over 60 companies across its managed funds since inception. In 2016 alone, Parkwalk committed over £40m to UK university spin-outs and has been a long-term co-investment partner of IP Group, having co-invested over £17m in 14 investment rounds during 2015/2016. Parkwalk is a profitable business and will be immediately accretive to IP Group’s operating results.
Parkwalk has significant assets under management, an experienced team and strong links to many of IP Group’s existing university partners. Its investment vehicles include the evergreen Parkwalk Opportunities Fund, the University of Cambridge Enterprise Funds, the University of Oxford Innovation Funds and the University of Bristol Enterprise Funds.
Parkwalk will retain its existing investment team and investment decision-making independence post-acquisition.
Alastair Kilgour, Co-founder of Parkwalk, said: “The acquisition of Parkwalk by IP Group gives our underlying investors the security of being part of a larger organisation which also brings with it specialist resources and expertise around developing businesses formed around hard science. The strength of IP Group will allow Parkwalk to expand and enhance its EIS fund offerings, helping to boost the UK technology base and returns to investors.”
Alan Aubrey, Chief Executive of IP Group, said: “Parkwalk is a great strategic fit for IP Group being the market leader in the sector with fast growing assets under management run by an experienced team with an excellent track record. The acquisition reinforces IP Group’s access to a diversified pool of capital for co-funding the earlier stages of the portfolio while providing a profitable and growing platform to develop closer links with institutional investment platforms. We consider EIS funds to be an increasingly important source of financing for early-stage technology companies and believe Parkwalk’s strong links to leading institutional wealth managers and university partners will be beneficial to the Group.”
A change of controller application has been submitted to the Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”) and final completion of the acquisition is conditional on approval being received from the FCA, such approval being anticipated within a three-month period.