£1bn empire in medical technology planned by duo

Christopher Stainforth, the old Etonian corporate financier acquitted of deception charges in the 1990s Blue Arrow case, will start a medical technology venture this week.

Mr Stainforth and Jeremy Curnock Cook, who once headed Rothschild's biosciences unit, are understood to have agreed to have become chairman and director of a small Plus-listed company. Although they will raise only £300,000 to £400,000 to make a first transaction, the plan is to create an empire worth up to £1bn within 10 years.

The company will focus on buying early-stage medical technology, such as companies specialising in diagnostic machines. The group is likely to move from Plus to the Aim market within six months, where it can raise the amount of cash needed to meet the aim of multiplying the value of the technology it buys tenfold in just two years.

Transactions are expected to be between £3m and £5m and will not involve pharmaceuticals companies, which can struggle to get approval for the drugs and medicines they develop.

Mr Stainforth would not confirm the company that the duo will join, but told The Independent: "I'm looking forward to working with Jeremy as we look to create a significant company. We've known each other for 10 years."

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