Mercury buys fund manager

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The Independent Online
MERCURY Asset Management has bought Grosvenor Ventures, a firm that manages pounds 50m of investments in private companies, including Grosvenor Development Capital.

The directors of Grosvenor Ventures decided to sell out to Mercury after considering how to secure stability for the firm during difficult times for the smaller players in the venture capital industry. As part of a much larger group, Grosvenor Venture Managers hopes it will see a better flow of investment proposals.

Grosvenor Ventures will join Mercury's development capital division, whose funds under management will rise to pounds 450m. It will continue to specialise in providing expansion capital of between pounds 750,000 and pounds 2.5m to private companies.

Companies backed by Grosvenor Ventures that have recently come to the stock market include Celsis.

Grosvenor Development Capital, an investment trust, announced a 10 per cent dividend rise to 1.1p despite falling to a pounds 337,000 loss ( pounds 272,000 profit). Net assets rose 31 per cent to pounds 15.5m over the year to the end of 1993, helped by a big contribution from Celsis. Net assets per share rose from 147.2p to 192.3p.