Reuters, the global information, news and technology group, is transferring the management of its corporate venture fund, the Greenhouse Fund, to RVC, a newly-formed and independent fund management company.
RVC is being set up by John Taysom (founder and co-chief executive of Reuters Greenhouse Fund) and David Lockwood (co-chief executive), together with 17 colleagues, who are leaving Reuters to join the new company. Sir David Walker, senior adviser to Morgan Stanley International, will become non-executive chairman of RVC.
Reuters says the switch will enable the group to retain the benefit of RVC’s expertise, in relation to the Greenhouse Fund portfolio and RVC’s new funds, whilst allowing the RVC management to develop a larger venture funds business.
In addition to managing the Reuters Greenhouse portfolio, RVC, which has offices in London, San Francisco and Palo Alto, says it will raise new venture funds to focus on start-ups in Europe and North America. The company says it will seek funds from companies interested in investing in developments in information technology and from financial investors attracted by the track record of RVC’s management team.
Reuters says it will invest in the first new fund planned by RVC with an option to participate in any other funds raised by the new company. In addition Reuters will continue to make appropriate follow-on investments in companies in its Greenhouse portfolio.
Reuters Greenhouse Fund has invested $443 million in 83 private companies and 14 venture funds since its inception in 1995. Seventeen of the companies have had Initial Public Offerings and a further seven have undergone trade sales. The Fund has raised $326 million in cash from these transactions, of which $51 million relates to the second quarter 2001.
The Greenhouse Fund currently has holdings in 17 quoted companies, valued at $41 million. It also has investments in 59 unlisted companies as well as the 14 venture funds made at a cost of $349 million. Net investment is $76 million (total cash invested less cash realised less the value of the publicly quoted portfolio).