Imperial Innovations starts to reap benefits

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The Independent Online

Imperial Innovations, the company which invests in spin-out businesses from the UK's top universities, is coming of age as some of its best investments prepare for flotation or trade sales.

Oxford Immunotec, which has developed a TB screening test, announced its plans to float on Nasdaq.

Imperial has its 8 per cent stake on its books at £7.5m but a flotation is likely to push that much higher.

The Imperial chief executive, Richard Cummings, said that a number of the group's investments were now ready for an IPO or trade sale.

In the meantime, Imperial's portfolio of investments in well over 20 companies increased by 21 per cent in value over the past year to £188m.

Pre-tax profits, which are largely irrelevant, fell from £5.1m to £3.8m. It invested in six new companies, two from Cambridge, two from Imperial College and one each from UCL and Oxford.

It still has £80m of cash to invest including £30m from the European Investment Bank.