Illuminator's dot.com fund struggling for cash

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The Independent Online

Illuminator, the investment group set up by Brian Myerson and Julian Treger, two of the City's most feared corporate raiders, is struggling to raise cash for its fund designed to snap up struggling dot.coms.

Mr Treger, who is best known for shaking up Old Economy stocks with Mr Myerson through their Active Value investment vehicle, yesterday admitted that Illuminator's TechRescue Fund was making "slow progress".

The fund was launched earlier this year with an initial £5m from Mr Myerson and Mr Treger and had aimed to raise up to £100m from high net worth individuals and institutions.

Mr Treger, Illuminator's joint chairman, commenting on the fund's progress, said: "It has been slower than we thought. We may raise less than expected and it may take longer – six months rather than three."

He blamed the holiday season and the fact that a lot of people had been badly burned in the technology sector for the delays, adding that the team would close the fund when it hit £25m. "Investors understand the concept and opportunities, it's just a matter of when they feel ready," he said.

His comments came as Illuminator, which was set up in 1999 with a view to nurturing new technology firms, reported a pre-tax profit for the six months to 30 June of £46,000 compared with a £4.5m loss a year earlier. Turnover increased to £426,000 from £156,000. Its shares closed unchanged at 0.72p.

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