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Braveheart Investment in profit as momentum builds

Braveheart is growing in confidence in its ability to pick winners from the technology sector
Finger on the brain
Braveheart seeks to back nascent technology companies and work closely with their boards

It is hard sometimes to value an investment company like Braveheart Investment Group PLC (LON:BRH), which plays the long game, backing promising technology businesses.

Then, along comes a “value realisation” moment, as they call it in the trade, and things get a bit clearer.

Such was the case in July, when the company announced it was in advanced talks to dispose of a stake in one of its investee companies, mLED Limited.


Sale of mLED brings in cash

The share price doubled, and though it came off the boil after the sales was confirmed in September, the shares are still up a very handy 77% over the last year.

The group has a 1.25% direct holding and 3.75% stake held through subsidiary Strathclyde Investment Fund in mLED.

Proceeds from the sale were £399,000 in cash compared to a book value of £96,000.

The money went in the kitty, to invest in more promising technology companies.

Talking of which, in January 2017 as the company took a 47% stake in Gyrometric Systems Limited, an engineering firm using technology developed at Nottingham Trent University.

Gyrometric provides monitoring technology that measures the performance of drive shafts in a wide variety of applications.

In effect, the technology tunes the devices, enabling them to operate at maximum efficiency, thereby saving energy, maintenance and capital costs.

The large stake taken by Braveheart represents a continuation of the change of strategy by Braveheart, with the company gaining in confidence and backing its judgement more heavily.

Not that Gyrometric seems like a particularly risky investment. Braveheart said Gyrometric already has established sales partners in Germany and Asia on which it will now build and expects to break-even in 2017.


Steady income comes from Viking

Selling a stake in a company provides a nice occasional bonus for the company, but the steady income is provided by its wholly-owned subsidiary, Viking Fund Managers.

Viking's main fund management income comes from the Finance Yorkshire Equity Fund contract, but it also provides specialist fund management services to other funds that are in 'run-out' mode. 

This specialised management work tends to generate enhanced fees in excess of standard fund management fees due to the intensive nature of this work. 

The emphasis for the FYEF is now on portfolio management rather than in seeking new investments and the unit is seeking to win the management contracts for further funds.


Profits to hit £750,000

In April, Braveheart said  it would post a profit in the region of £750,000 for the year to March 31.

It also revealed it had upped its stakes in two investee companies – Kirkstall (to 37% from 28%) and Paraytec (to 47% from 33%).


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Two new additions to portfolio

Paraytec is a York-based scientific instruments specialist and Kirkstall makes equipment for cell tissue labs.

Both companies are performing well, either meeting or exceeding internal targets set for them, Braveheart said.

Sales have now begun of Paraytec's ActiPix D200 system, which was recently introduced into the global pharmaceutical market, Braveheart revealed.

Sirius Analytical, one of the first ActiPix licensees, has successfully launched a new drug dissolution imager, incorporating ActiPix technology. It has already met with strong interest from global research laboratories that are interested in licensing the ActiPix wizardry, Braveheart said.

The royalties generated from such licences are expected to comprise the majority of Paraytec's future income.

Meanwhile, sales of Kirkstall’s 'organ-on-a-chip` system, Quasi Vivo, are ahead of forecast.

Research group Research and Markets estimates that the global `organ-on-a-chip` market is poised to grow at a compound annual growth rate of around 69% over the next decade to reach about US$6.13bn by 2025.

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June 21 2017
The turnaround was in part due to the sale of one of its investee companies, mLED, which is developing ultra-high brightness technology

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