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NZVIF agrees investment terms with Pioneer Capital

Media Release – 23 May 2006

NZVIF agrees investment terms with Pioneer Capital Partners

The New Zealand Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF) announced today that it has agreed to conditional terms with Pioneer Capital Partners (Pioneer) to co-invest up to $15 million in Pioneer’s New Zealand Innovation Fund.

It is intended that the NZVIF’s investment will be applied to the early stage portion of Pioneer’s investment mandate and will be matched by Pioneer’s other investors on a 1:2 basis ($1 of NZVIF capital for $2 of other investors’ capital). The NZVIF’s selection process included comprehensive due diligence completed for it by the international investment advisory firm Wilshire Associates.

Established to invest in opportunities originating in New Zealand that are scalable into international markets, Pioneer’s investment programme for early & expansion stage businesses has a mandate across the areas of specialised manufacture and design, information and communications technology, and where these areas converge with the life sciences.

NZVIF Chief Executive Franceska Banga said, “The Pioneer team brings an attractive blend of entrepreneurial, operating and investment experience along with strong offshore networks, which will be of assistance to the companies it backs as they seek to grow in larger markets. We hope to successfully conclude investment arrangements with them over the next few weeks."

Peter Maire, Pioneer’s Chairman and acclaimed New Zealand entrepreneur welcomed the NZVIF’s investment commitment “The NZVIF has been a key driver behind the development of New Zealand’s venture capital industry to date and has facilitated the flow of capital that New Zealand’s most promising companies need. While attracting the right kind of capital early in a company’s life is never a walk in the park, the emergence of a credible venture capital industry in New Zealand will I’m sure generate even more success stories than we’ve seen to date."

Randal Barrett, Pioneer Director, added “We are pleased to have the NZVIF on board. The NZVIF’s position in the market as a significant institutional investor makes them an ideal fit with our other investors” The New Zealand Innovation Fund will be the sixth fund established within the existing $100 million VIF Venture Capital Programme. To date 34 early stage companies have received investment through the programme.

ENDS

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