Ingenious fundraising is Europe's biggest

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The Independent Online

Ingenious Media, the boutique investment bank, will reveal this week that it has raised £150m for Europe's biggest fund to invest in small, unquoted media companies.

Shares in the fund itself - Ingenious Media Active Capital (Imac) - will be changing hands on the Alternative Investment Market within a fortnight.

The bank originally asked the stockbroker Bridgewell Securities to raise £250,000, but investors called for the fund to be capped to ensure it could be fully invested within 12 months.

Patrick McKenna, the former chief executive of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group and founder of Ingenious, is ploughing £10m of the bank's cash into Imac.

The fund - to be chaired by Tony Ball, the former chief executive of the pay-TV broadcaster BSkyB - will buy stakes in film, television, video game and music companies and is looking to return at least 15 per cent a year to shareholders.

Since Mr McKenna set up !=Ingenious in 1998, the bank has invested £2.5bn in the UK media industry.

It backed 19 Entertainment, the production and merchandising operation of Simon Fuller, the former manager of the Spice Girls.

Another Ingenious investment, the music publisher Stage Three Music, owns the rights to songs by bearded the heavy metallers ZZ Top, pictured.

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