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Positive Interest in VIF’s New Venture Capital Rnd

Media statement – 22nd September 2005

“Positive Interest in VIF’s New Venture Capital Round”

Positive interest has been shown in the establishment of one or more, venture capital funds through the New Zealand Government’s Venture Investment Fund (VIF).

Eight fund managers, with interests from within New Zealand, USA, and Asia, have submitted proposals to establish a VIF Venture Capital fund. “VIF continues to attract interest in New Zealand venture capital opportunities, from both onshore and offshore which is very encouraging says VIF Chief Executive Franceska Banga”.

The New Zealand Venture Investment Fund, a venture capital Fund of Funds, has NZ$35 million available to invest, alongside private investors, with selected venture capital funds.

The venture capital fund(s) will be managed by the selected private sector fund managers, following completion of an external assessment and due diligence process to be undertaken by specialist private equity advisors and investors, Wilshire Associates Pty Limited. The selected venture capital fund managers will have a mandate to invest in a portfolio of New Zealand’s young innovative companies, assisting them to achieve significant growth and commercial success.

“Our process over the next few months is to select the fund managers that we consider have the best chance of success in developing and managing a portfolio of young, high growth investments” says VIF Chief Executive Franceska Banga. That takes a unique blend of venture capital and commercialisation experience, together with strong offshore networks that can assist in taking these companies to large markets”.

The successful applicant or applicants will need to raise $2 of matching private capital for every $1 of VIF capital invested in the funds.

VIF is a “fund of funds” initiative set up by the New Zealand Government to promote investment into early stage NZ technology and high growth potential businesses. NZ$100 million was committed by Government to the VIF Programme, to be matched by $200 million from the private sector in ‘VIF venture capital funds’ under private management. The concept is to ensure New Zealand’s best technologies and innovations are brought to market, have the opportunity to reach their full commercial potential and create export opportunities, offshore relationships, and jobs in New Zealand.

To date, VIF and private investors have invested $58.4m through the VIF programme with 24 New Zealand companies receiving investment. Five VIF venture capital funds are currently operational and each is actively looking at opportunities to invest in high growth potential companies.

ENDS

Further information about VIF and VIF Venture Capital Funds can be found at www.nzvif.com

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