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Strong interest in NZ Venture Investment Fund

Media statement

Monday 26 November 2001


Strong interest in New Zealand Venture Investment Fund

The New Zealand and international venture capital community has shown strong interest in the Government's New Zealand Venture Investment Fund, a “Fund of Funds” programme which has $100 million to invest in seed and start-up New Zealand businesses.

Fourty-four registrations of interest have been received as a result of the Fund’s first call for fund management proposals. The NZVIF capital will be invested over the next three years in venture capital seed funds, each with contracted private sector managers and more than matching funds from private sector investors.

Many of the proposals received have strong offshore interests, including parties from Australia, Asia, USA and Israel.

"We are very pleased with the level of interest from both New Zealand and overseas, and with the high quality of the proposals," said NZVIF board chairman John Grant. “Attracting offshore expertise in venture capital to New Zealand is an important goal for NZVIF, but the level and quality of New Zealand involvement is also heartening.”

Registrants have indicated conditional commitments of around NZ $100m from the New Zealand investment community alone, to co-invest alongside the Government's capital. The Government's objective is to attract $200m of private sector capital, so the NZVIF is a minority investor in the seed funds established.

“This level of conditional investment commitments from the domestic private sector at such an early stage is most encouraging,” Mr Grant said. “It appears the NZVIF is already well on track to achieve the desired acceleration in the development of the New Zealand venture capital market.”

Sixteen registrants will now be invited to prepare a full offer to establish, manage and raise private capital for one of the new seed funds. These funds will invest in seed and start-up technology and high value added ventures.

It is expected that the first funds will be established about April 2002.

ENDS

Further information about NZVIF can be found at www.nzvif.com

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