Sponsors see surge in BES schemes

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The Independent Online
THE MAIN Business Expansion Scheme sponsors are predicting a massive launch of BES schemes this spring - the last time they can offer the popular six-month loan schemes.

Johnson Fry expects to launch pounds 100m of BES schemes by the end of February, and up to pounds 300m in total by the end of the tax year. Close Brothers, slightly more modestly, expects to unveil up to pounds 100m in BES schemes before April.

'The demand is there and it's frustrating that we can't match the supply,' Peter Roscrow, of Close Brothers, said.

Already several new BES schemes have been announced. Close Brothers is launching the London & Home Counties Repossessions Fund, an assured tenancy scheme.

Richard Ellis Venture Consultants is sponsoring Flexit - the Flexible Exit BES, offering a loan-back after six months and an annualised net return of 34 per cent for 40 per cent tax payers who take up the loan-back offer. Shares in the pounds 5m Artesian Select issue are available until the closing date on 9 March.

Meanwhile, the Lee Brothers MaxiGrowth is also being launched - on minimum investments of pounds 1,000 up to a maximum of pounds 40,000.

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