Slater returns to City after three decades

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The Independent Online

Jim Slater, the controversial businessman and accomplished stock tipper, is seeking a return to the City after an absence of almost three decades.

Mr Slater, 73, who was the darling of the business world until the collapse of his Slater Walker empire in 1975, is taking his technology company to the stock market.

Now he is taking on the mantle of chairman at BioProjects International, which is expected to be valued at £15m when it floats on the Alternative Investment Market. He founded the company two years ago to invest in pure biotechnology companies and projects connected to the biotech industry.

It injects from £100,000 to £1m into a company andits £3.3m investment portfolio includes Acolyte Biomedica, based at the Ministry of Defence site at Porton Down, Acrobot Company, set up by Imperial College London, and Lipid Sciences, a medical technology company in California.

Slater built his merchant banking empire in the 1960s stock market boom with his associate and future Conservative minister Peter Walker, and became regarded as something of an investment guru. But Slater Walker's collapse damaged his reputation amid allegations he lent money to an associate company in a questionable share support scheme, and left him with £1m of debts.

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