Schroder UK Public Private Tst plc Annual Financial Report

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Schroder UK Public Private Tst plc Annual Financial Report

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RNS Number : 5812L

Schroder UK Public Private Tst plc

01 May 2020

Schroder UK Public Private Trust plc (the Company)

Annual Report

1 May 2020

Schroder UK Public Private Trust plc (formerly Woodford Patient Capital Trust plc) hereby submits its Annual Report for the year ended 31 December 2019 as required by the UK Listing Authority's Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rule 4.1.

The Company's Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 31 December 2019 are also being published in hard copy format and an electronic copy will shortly be available to download from the Company's website www.schroders.com/publicprivatetrust . Please click on the following link to view the document:

http://www.rns-pdf.londonstockexchange.com/rns/5812L_1-2020-4-30.pdf

The Company has submitted its Annual Report and Accounts to the National Storage Mechanism and it will shortly be available for inspection at https://data.fca.org.uk/#/nsm/nationalstoragemechanism .

Enquiries:

Benjamin Hanley

Schroder Investment Management Limited

Tel: 020 7658 3847

CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT

Performance

The year to 31 December 2019 was disappointing for investors. The net asset value fell 49.3% from 97.61p to 49.46p during the year and the share price fell 53.3%, from 82.10p to 38.35p. World economies are currently being severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and this may create opportunities for some of the many healthcare companies in the portfolio but will also put pressure on other aspects of their activity, such as fundraising.

The board has followed the guidance issued on 21 March 2020 by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and on 23 March 2020 by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) that public companies should delay the announcement of their results in order to give themselves more time to ensure the challenges caused by the COVID-19 virus are fully reflected in their reporting.

In light of the above, while the Company had intended to announce its audited annual results for the year ended 31 December 2019 in early April 2020, the Company has deferred the publication of its audited annual results to today.

The board has been encouraged by the appointment of Schroders Investment Management Limited (Schroders) as Portfolio Manager since December. The team at Schroders, backed by its deep resource in both private and public investments, is well placed to maximise value in the portfolio, notwithstanding the continued uncertainty of the LF (formerly Woodford) Equity Income Fund assets sale, and the wider market uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the future, Schroders will use its dedicated teams to rebalance the portfolio towards what they believe is a more sustainable risk/reward profile.

A more detailed comment on performance and investment policy may be found in the Portfolio Manager's Review.

Gearing

The Company's borrowings have continued to be an area of focus during the year. In December 2019, coinciding with the appointment of Schroders, the board announced that the revolving credit facility with The Northern Trust Company had been extended until 15 January 2021. The current level of gearing stands at GBP107.0 million.

The commitment under the facility was reduced to GBP112.9 million, in-line with the amount drawn under the facility at that time and consistent with the Company's intention to reduce borrowings. In addition, the borrowing base, which limits borrowings to an amount based on the value of both the quoted and unquoted holdings, was removed, providing the Company with greater flexibility while it seeks to reduce gearing. The annual interest rate remains unchanged at LIBOR + 1.5 per cent.

The Company will work with Schroders to reduce the level of borrowings, although the board would like to reiterate that it is important that Schroders is provided with time to achieve this objective while protecting shareholder value.

Investment Policy

When Schroders was appointed in December 2019, the board indicated that the portfolio would continue to be managed in accordance with the Company's existing investment objective and investment policy in all material respects.

It is expected that over time, Schroders will seek to increase the overall liquidity of the portfolio and the level of diversification within it. However, in light of the composition of the existing policy Schroders is restricted from: (i) raising capital though disposals as a result of the requirement to have a minimum of 40 holdings; and (ii) making further investments into existing assets, as a result of the current restriction that no more than 80% of the Company's assets may be held in unquoted holdings, measured at the time of investment.

The board is therefore proposing to make a number of minor changes to the investment policy and restrictions to reflect the strategy that Schroders will deploy in managing the portfolio and to provide the necessary flexibility in the short term with regards to the minimum number of holdings and the mix of private and public assets. The full details of the proposed changes are set out on pages 70 and 71 of the Annual Report and a resolution seeking shareholder approval to these amendments will be put to shareholders at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Valuation Frequency

I indicated in my Interim Statement that the board was considering moving from daily to periodic NAV reporting, bringing the Company more in line with peers. Following Schroders' appointment we have taken soundings from a numbers of investors, and on 26 March the board announced that the Company will move to a quarterly NAV reporting schedule.

This will enable the Company to undertake a review of the portfolio at the time of each NAV publication, which will be announced following each quarter end, and will provide a more representative valuation for investors. The first NAV to be published under the new reporting regime will be the 31 March 2020 NAV which is expected to be published before the end of June 2020. We will review every year whether a quarterly NAV reporting cycle remains appropriate.

The board also provided an update on the nature of information that will be released to the market under the new quarterly valuation cycle. In addition to announcements arising from developments within portfolio companies that have a material impact on the NAV, the board will make announcements relating to new private investments, realisations of any nature in private investments (including partial realisations), and material updates from private companies in the portfolio.

The board believes this quarterly NAV reporting cycle will provide shareholders with a clear framework for the release of information on the portfolio. This is in line with trusts with similar assets, and we would encourage all investors to sign up to receiving these updates each quarter, as they are released. This can be done on the Company's website, www.schroders.com/publicprivatetrust .

Discount management

At the last AGM, the Company was given the authority to purchase up to 14.99% of its issued share capital. We propose that share buyback authorities be renewed at the forthcoming AGM and that any shares so purchased be cancelled or held in treasury for potential reissue. Although the Company is restricted in the amount of capital it could put to use for these purposes for the immediate future, share buybacks remain an important tool and the board will look to consider buy backs once it is in a position to do so.

Board composition and Chair succession

The composition of the board has materially changed since the start of 2019. The board would like to thank Dame Louise Makin, Steven Harris, Carolan Dobson and Alan Hodson for their contributions to the Company. Stephen Cohen, Jane Tufnell and Raymond Abbott all joined the board and their elections will be proposed at the AGM.

Our new board members bring significant skills and specific investment trust experience to the deliberations of the board.

In view of these board changes, the challenges of the portfolio and the transition to Schroders, it is not thought to be beneficial to investors to make further changes at this stage and, therefore, I have agreed to continue to serve as Chairman for a time to support the transition to Schroders. In line with the board's agreed succession plans, and subject to shareholders' continued support at the forthcoming AGM, I will be retiring at the 2021 AGM.

The board has formed a Nominations Committee to be chaired by Jane Tufnell, and the Committee will lead the selection process for my successor. The board believes that it is important for appropriate new skills to be brought to the board and will continue to look to refresh one director every two to three years. All directors will continue to be subject to re-election each year at the AGM and will not serve for a period over nine years.

Outlook

I would like to reiterate our thanks to shareholders for their continued patience and understanding as we move ahead with Schroders. We believe that their appointment is a major step forwards and we remain focused on maximising value and restoring confidence in the Company and its portfolio.

Challenges remain. The continuing delays in the sale of the assets from the LF Equity Income Fund, whilst an entirely separate entity from the Company will, nevertheless, continue to cause disruption to a number of investee companies. This, together with the current general market conditions created by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, may impact the private equity market and may further affect our ability to pay down the gearing within the timeframe that the board would like.

Schroders have provided an update on the portfolio in their report which reflects the current environment. The possible impact from COVID-19 on the Company's NAV per share after the balance sheet date has been recorded as a post-balance sheet event in Note 23 to the Accounts below.

AGM

The AGM will be held at 10.30 a.m. on Friday, 5 June 2020 at Schroders' offices at 1 London Wall Place, London EC2Y 5AU. In light of the rapidly evolving situation and recent government guidance regarding the outbreak of COVID-19, the board has taken the decision to alter the format of the Company's AGM.

The formalities of the meeting, as required by the Companies Act 2006 and the Company's Articles of Association, will still take place. The safety and security of our shareholders, service providers, officers, and guests is of paramount importance to us. While the Government's "Stay at Home Measures" are in force public gatherings of more than two people are prohibited.

Shareholders are therefore asked not to attend the AGM in person but instead to vote by proxy. We also ask shareholders to follow the current advice of the Government and Public Health England, noting the current guidance on travel and the limits on numbers at public gatherings.

All shareholders should vote by proxy. Proxy votes can be submitted electronically through the registrar's portal. Details are included with the proxy forms and on the Company's webpages.

In the event that shareholders have a question for the board, please email (amcompanysecretary@schroders.com), and we will arrange for a response to be provided to you.

Web Conference - Update from Schroders

Please join managers, Ben Wicks and Tim Creed, for a webconference in which they will introduce Schroders as Portfolio Manager and outline their thoughts on the future direction of the portfolio. The presentation will be followed by a live Q&A session.

The webconference will take place 14 May 2020 at 10:00 am. Register for the event at

http://www.schroders.com/publicprivatetrust/updates .

Last year was exceptionally challenging, but I am proud of the work we have all done in the last 12 months and wish to thank all my colleagues as well as the Company's many service providers. With the appointment of Schroders, the portfolio should now have the time, the care and the stability it needs to survive and prosper.

Susan Searle

Chairman

30 April 2020

REVIEW OF 2019

Woodford Investment Management (Woodford) resigned as Portfolio Manager of the Company on 13 December 2019. Schroders were appointed the same day. Thus, the 2019 performance was in effect the responsibility of Woodford rather than Schroders. Woodford are not able to complete a Manager's Review section for this Annual Report and Schroders had no involvement prior to 13 December 2019, so the Directors are providing their own short summary of key events. Most of these are already covered in the Half-Yearly Report which was published on 30 September 2019. The most significant events for the Company are set out below.

In March 2019, the Company purchased further positions in five existing holdings in Atom Bank, Carrick Therapeutics, Cell Medica, RateSetter and Spin Memory for GBP73 million from the Woodford Equity Income Fund (WEIF). This was funded through the issue of 81.6 million new shares at the then prevailing NAV. This transaction had taken almost a year to negotiate and given the discount the shares were trading at, at the time the transaction was agreed, namely -13%, the net effect to shareholders was regarded by the board and by advisers as beneficial.

Woodford, as Portfolio Manager, had begun the year with high levels of optimism (gearing was 18.6%) about the likely 2019 performance for the Company's holdings including the expectation that it would be possible for some of these companies to IPO or to achieve a trade sale. This would have helped finance the ongoing funding requirements that investee companies were facing and to which the Portfolio Manager had in some cases legally committed the Company.

However, many factors came together to undo this outlook. The IPOs and trade sales did not transpire. There was ongoing deterioration in the performance and liquidity of Woodford's open-ended funds which were facing increasing redemption demands and consequent downward pressure on the value of its holdings. Several holdings in the open-ended funds were also held by the Company.

On 3 June 2019, Link Fund Solutions Limited (LFS), as AIFM, announced the suspension of dealing in the Woodford open-ended funds and later that month the board instructed the Portfolio Manager to seek to reduce gearing by the end of 2019, which the Portfolio Manager indicated was eminently achievable. This was done to reduce risk in the Company and to seek to enable funding commitments to be met. However, the absence of any mooted IPO's or trade sales rendered the Portfolio Manager unable to reduce gearing in the second half of 2019.

As set out on pages 29 and 30 of the Annual Report the board initiated a process to identify a new Portfolio Manager in July 2019 following the crisis in Woodford and the deterioration in performance. The board also initiated direct discussions with the lender in August 2019 to renegotiate the terms of the loan agreement as a number of the covenant terms had become onerous. This was a lengthy process which was subsequently successfully taken on by Schroders as the new Portfolio Manager culminating in the signing of a new agreement on 13 December 2019.

There were significant extra costs incurred by the Company during the year. Legal costs associated with the transaction in March 2019, the Portfolio Manager search and transfer, debt renegotiation and advice to the board were much higher than usual. In addition, the board appointed FTI Consulting (FTI) to advise and help with press and public relations during a period when there was coverage of Woodford's problems in the media almost every day and a deluge of enquiries. Finally, the board engaged its broker to provide a much higher level of service than in normal circumstances in order to advise on the multiple RNS' issued, the Portfolio Manager search and to advise the board generally. All three service providers were invaluable during this very difficult period, especially in the second half of 2019, when 16 board meetings proved necessary, plus multiple meetings of the board sub-group responsible for the search for a new Portfolio Manager. FTI were invaluable in helping to correct misapprehensions that had arisen in the press and helping to reinforce the clear difference between WEIF, which had faced redemptions it was unable to meet, and the closed-ended Company, whose shares were actively traded.

Performance

This was clearly very disappointing with the NAV falling by 49.3% from 97.61p to 49.46p. The top 5 contributors to this negative return were as follows:

Benevolent AI: -7.67% - the company has made good progress via collaborations with AstraZeneca and Novartis, a new funding round took place at a lower level, albeit the funding was provided by Temasek who should prove a strong future cornerstone investor.

Industrial Heat: -7.44% - mainly as a result of technology development delays.

Autolus Therapeutics: -4.45% - as a result of a more sceptical background for listed biotech companies and then delays in constructing a technical facility.

Kuur Therapeutics (previously called Cell Medica): -3.29% - as a result of a lower valuation for new funds.

Rutherford Health (previously called Proton Partners): -3.07% - as a result of delays in the ramp-up of new centres.

Portfolio Activity

The major sales were as follows -

Oxford Sciences Innovation plc - GBP41.4m - sold, at a small premium (1.5%) to the then valuation.

Autolus Therapeutics - GBP32.1m - sold given its liquidity.

Ultrahaptics - GBP19.0m - sold profitably to a London private equity fund.

Sensyne Health - GBP17.9m - sold given its liquidity.

Prothena - GBP17.5m - sold given its liquidity.

All of the above were completed in order to raise cash to finance funding requirements and to seek to manage gearing.

The major purchases were as follows -

Atom Bank - GBP44.4m - as part of the transaction with WEIF referred to above and then a further funding commitment, alongside other shareholders, Toscafund and BBVL.

Rutherford (previous called Proton Partners) - GBP35m - acquired as a primary issue, linked to the Woodford commitment entered into at the time of IPO.

Benevolent AI - GBP15m - as part of a previously committed funding.

RateSetter - GBP14.3m - as part of the transaction with WEIF

Spin Memory (previously called Spin Transfer Tech) - GBP13.2m - as part of the transaction with WEIF.

Henceforth, Schroders, as Portfolio Manager, will naturally be reporting to shareholders in the Half-Yearly and Annual Reports on both portfolio activity and performance. They will also be producing quarterly NAV reports with a portfolio update of top ten holdings and commentary on activity and performance.

PORTFOLIO MANAGER'S REVIEW

Market background

2019 was a year of significant volatility and change for the Company and its portfolio. The portfolio experienced a meaningful decline in value, leading to the renegotiation of the Company's lending facility and a change of Portfolio Manager. A review of 2019 can be found above.

Concerns over the spread of coronavirus and its potential impact on global growth have dominated financial markets recently, with public equity markets falling sharply.

COVID-19 has started to negatively impact the real economy globally and has the potential to cause more economic disruption. The main cause-effect relationship between the virus and the economy is that, due to the rapid exponential spread of the virus, governments are forced to enact decisive countermeasures to slow down transmission, so health systems are able to cope with the situation. It is these countermeasures, including travel restrictions and partial lock-downs, as well as changing consumer behaviour targeted at social distancing, which can lead to economic disruption. Any disruption is likely to be temporary. Either countermeasures are successful, or seasonal weather changes might have a positive impact, or treatments and vaccines will be available at some point in time or the virus will run its course.

For existing investments, the impact varies mainly by region and industry, the specific business model of a company and its financing situation. The portfolio has a high proportion of healthcare companies, which is a key strength at this point in time. This includes a number of companies in the Trust that are actively working on COVID-19. As well as providing an overview of the top 10 portfolio companies, we have provided an update on the impact of the situation, where relevant, in the next section.

We have taken on this portfolio because we believe it contains many attractive holdings and are confident that our experience and resources will afford us the opportunity to re-position the portfolio toward creating long-term value for shareholders.

Top 10 portfolio holdings

Atom Bank (14.4% of the portfolio)

Atom Bank is the UK's first bank built exclusively for mobile. It is redefining what a bank should be, making things easier, more transparent and better value in a world of finance. Currently the bank offers savings accounts, mortgages and business loans. During 2019 Atom has been investing into its infrastructure and technology platform. The Company was awarded a GBP10m Banking Competition and Remedies grant to drive competition in lending to SMEs, and also successfully completed its second mortgage securitisation of over GBP500m. This followed the successful GBP50m fundraising round completed earlier in the year with participation from BBVA,

Toscafund, Perscitus LLP, alongside SUPP.

In early March, Atom invoked full contingency and moved swiftly to complete implementation of homeworking for all roles by the end of the month. Throughout, it has maintained strong customer service levels while responding to Government initiatives in support both of mortgage customers and SMEs. Strongly capitalised and highly solvent Atom plans to launch new savings products in Q2 and to continue lending to the real economy throughout 2020 and beyond.

Rutherford Health (14.4% of the portfolio)

Rutherford operates three innovative cancer treatment centres in Newport (South Wales), Northumberland and Thames Valley, with a fourth centre in Liverpool recently handed over for commissioning of equipment. The service offering is extensive and covers: imaging, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiotherapy and high energy proton therapy. Over 300 patients have been treated across all services including 100 patients treated with high energy proton beam therapy. In 2019, the company listed on the NEX Growth Exchange raising GBP20m on listing and a further GBP70m through the year.

Rutherford Health has partnered with the NHS to provide cancer care to patients in times in which many NHS healthcare facilities are burdened with a high number of COVID-19 patients. Cancer patients receiving chemo-, radio- or proton beam therapy are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 infections due to their weakened immune system and Rutherford outpatient facilities focused on cancer care only ensure a safe and prioritised treatment.

Oxford Nanopore (13.3% of the portfolio)

Oxford Nanopore has developed a new generation of DNA sequencers, which uniquely scale from small portable formats to ultra-high throughput. They are unique in combining this scalability with real-time data streaming and the ability to sequence very long fragments of DNA / RNA, which provides very rich biological data. The Company now has customers in about 100 countries, using its technology for a range of scientific research including pathogen analysis, cancer research, agriculture, human genetics and environmental research. During the year Oxford Nanopore raised GBP109.5m in investment from new and existing investors from the US, Europe and Asia/Pacific. This brings total primary investment into the company to GBP481m.

Oxford Nanopore is providing support on the frontline of the coronavirus outbreak through their MinION sequencers, which allow rapid and decentralized genome sequencing, enabling an improved surveillance of the coronavirus outbreak and better understanding of the disease and its development, including potential mutations. Oxford Nanopore has partnered with global public health scientists and public health authorities in more than 30 countries, with another 40+ countries preparing to use MinION sequencers.

BenevolentAI (6.0% of the portfolio)

BenevolentAI creates and applies artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to transform the way medicines are discovered and developed. Benevolent integrates its technology into every step of the drug discovery process from hypothesis generation to late-stage clinical development. The Benevolent Platform(R) is used by scientists and technologists to find new ways to treat disease, improve the efficacy and lower the development time and costs of new treatments. During 2019, as well as advancing its internal R&D pipeline, the company announced collaborations with AstraZeneca and Novartis, and a $90m investment from Temasek, a Singapore-headquartered investment company.

Benevolent AI has been providing important insight in the global effort to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. In February 2020, Benevolent published two papers in The Lancet outlining how its proprietary knowledge graph, queried by a suite of AI algorithms, enabled the rapid identification of a potential therapeutic candidate for COVID-19. Its scientists re-examined the affinity and selectivity of all the drugs in its knowledge graph to identify already approved drugs with both anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. Its research suggests that Baricitinib, an already approved drug for rheumatoid arthritis, could be used to inhibit both viral entry into cells and the human inflammatory response strongly associated with the terminal phase of COVID-19 infection. It could also be used in combination with the directly acting antivirals currently being used in the COVID-19 outbreak. A leading example of how AI is being applied to accelerate the drug discovery process.

Immunocore (4.3% of the portfolio)

Immunocore is a pioneering T cell receptor biotechnology company, working to develop and commercialise a new generation of transformative medicines to address unmet needs. The Company's most advanced programmes are in oncology and it has a rich pipeline of programmes in infectious and autoimmune diseases. Its lead programme, Tebentafusp (IMCgp100), has entered pivotal clinical studies as a treatment for patients with metastatic uveal melanoma. During the year, two additional programmes entered the clinic and one was approved by the US FDA.

Autolus (3.3% of the portfolio)

Autolus Therapeutics is at the forefront of a revolutionary immuno-oncology treatment that is offering new hope to patients suffering from cancers. In 2019, Autolus continued to demonstrate good proof of concept data for its "chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy" (CAR-T) platform in several of its key clinical programmes. At the American Society of Haematology (ASH) conference in December, the company provided additional compelling patient data for its clinical programme.

During 2019, Autolus did experience one setback - a five month construction-related delay to its new semi-automated UK manufacturing facility in Stevenage. This negatively impacted progress of its clinical trials. However, as of September, the facility became operational and is now delivering clinical products for patients in both Europe and the US. Autolus' proprietary ability to produce products in a semi-automated closed system is a major milestone that should offer a distinct competitive advantage relative to competitors, in terms of both efficiency and quality control.

Autolus' manufacturing facility has continued to operate uninterrupted despite the outbreak of COVID-19, which is a major achievement for the firm given how critical this supply is to key therapeutic programmes for the year ahead.

Inivata (3.2% of the portfolio)

Inivata is a leader in liquid biopsy, a transformative approach that identifies tiny amounts of cancer DNA in the blood of patients with cancer. The Company's technology is based on pioneering research from the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, at the University of Cambridge and is reinforced by multiple high calibre publications. Its lead product, InVisionFirst(R)-Lung, is commercially available and helps clinicians to make informed treatment decisions for patients with Lung cancer. Further products in development help to manage patients with early stage cancer. The Company has a CLIA certified, CAP accredited laboratory in Research Triangle Park, NC and laboratories in Cambridge, UK.

Inivata is actively engaging with thoracic oncology experts on how they are modifying their patient care practices and adapting to the current COVID-19 crisis. Inivata has also engaged mobile blood draw services to enable patients to have blood drawn and their cancer profiled via the InVisionFirst test without needing to visit a healthcare facility.

Carrick Therapeutics (3.1% of the portfolio)

Carrick Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company focusing on targeting key pathways in cancer progression and adaptive resistance. During 2019 Carrick hired a new CEO to transition the company and drive the next growth phase. For their lead asset, targeting a receptor on cancer cell, Carrick Therapeutics completed a phase 1a dose escalation and safety study with positive results and started enrolling the phase 1b trial.

Carrick is actively managing the COVID-19 situation to ensure the safety of clinical trial patients, their continued access to study therapy and high data quality. The company is providing a nurse-led dispensing service with direct-to-home delivery to trial patients.

Mission Therapeutics (2.8% of the portfolio)

Mission Therapeutics has built a leading platform for the discovery and development of first-in-class, small molecule drugs that selectively target deubiquitylating enzymes (DUBs) - an emerging drug class that is attracting significant commercial interest in the area of protein homeostasis. The company focuses on treatment of kidney disease, fibrosis, rare mitochondrial diseases, and neurodegenerative. Mission Therapeutics has a major collaboration with AbbVie in the Alzheimer's Disease and Parkinson's Disease area.

It has been shown in the literature that a Mission asset could potentially enhance autophagy and reduce replication of MERS-CoV up to 28,000-fold. Mission has approached selected pharma companies to develop compounds to reduce replication of the related virus SARS-CoV-2.

Evofem Biosciences (2.8% of the portfolio)

Evofem Biosciences is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that is focused on non-hormonal contraceptive products and products for the prevention of sexually transmitted infections. The company's primary candidate, Phexxi, is currently undergoing review by the U.S. Food and Drugs Agency (FDA), and if approved will be directly marketed to consumers by the company during the latter half of 2020 and early 2021. Evofem Biosciences is listed on

the US Nasdaq exchange.

Evofem is not directly affected by COVID-19, with its main product awaiting FDA approval at the time of writing. However, generalised social lockdowns will make commercialisation and further product trials more difficult until the situation returns to normal.

The following charts provide an overview of the Company's positioning as at 31 December 2019. One important note, looking at the chart that illustrates the portfolio's sector positioning, is that the portfolio has a high proportion of healthcare companies, as mentioned earlier. Over the long term, we expect to provide a more diversified portfolio by sector.

Portfolio by geography

 
 Country 
 UK             87% 
               ---- 
 US              7% 
               ---- 
 Luxembourg      3% 
               ---- 
 Switzerland     2% 
               ---- 
 Norway          1% 
               ---- 
 

Source: LFS, as at 31 December 2019. Geographic split based on market listing for quoted companies and by country of domicile for unquoted companies.

Portfolio by sector

 
 Sector 
 Health Care         58% 
                    ---- 
 Financials          19% 
                    ---- 
 Industrials         11% 
                    ---- 
 Technology          11% 
                    ---- 
 Consumer staples     1% 
                    ---- 
 

Source: LFS, as at 31 December 2019.

Split between public and private companies

 
 Private    76% 
 Public     24% 
           ---- 
 

Source: LFS, as at 31 December 2019.

Revenue-generating vs pre-revenue

 
 Revenue Generating    82% 
 Pre Revenue           18% 
                      ---- 
 

Source: LFS, as at 31 December 2019.

History

On 24 October 2019 the board announced Schroders' appointment as Portfolio Manager for the Company, which subsequently came into effect on 13 December 2019. We are proud to have the opportunity to use our extensive investment experience and resources to realign the portfolio and seek to deliver growth for the long-term benefit of the shareholders.

We believe that we are well-positioned to execute on the expectations outlined by the Board and have deployed significant resources in our initial due diligence and current monitoring of the portfolio companies. Already by the time of our appointment on December 13th, we had accomplished the work needed to gain a strong understanding of the portfolio, positioning us for a running start to manage the portfolio going forward.

Schroders' expertise

As we take the helm of the portfolio, we believe it is important for shareholders to understand why we believe we are suitable to manage the portfolio and how we intend to drive the Company's long-term value creation.

Schroders is a well-established UK based investment manager. The firm's GBP500.2 billion under management (as at 31 December 2019) and over 200 years serving our clients from our now 32 offices around the world has positioned us among the leaders in institutional investment management globally. In 2017, Schroders acquired Adveq Management (now known as Schroder Adveq), a global private equity firm with more than 115 professionals with a significant focus on investing in emerging companies and financing their technology development and commercial growth. Managing the Company's portfolio is, thus, an ideal match with the heritage, experience and ongoing commitment of Schroders and in particular Schroder Adveq.

Sustainable investment

As a firm we have long recognised both the importance of examining the impacts of social and environmental trends on the companies we invest in, and the role investors can play in helping to address those challenges. The investment team of the Company will proactively incorporate significant aspects of the UN SDGs (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals) into our investment strategy, as described later in the report.

Outlook

We will be focusing on two key objectives in 2020: ensuring that the key value-creating portfolio companies receive the appropriate level of financial and strategic support to maximize the Company's investment return and to seek proactively to pay down the debt obligations. We recognize that at times these two objectives may be conflicting, however the long-term success of the Company will serve as the guiding principle by which individual key decisions will be made.

Beyond these two objectives and over the next few years, we will seek to re-balance the exposure between private and public companies in a manner commensurate with the risks posed. In the private portion of the portfolio we will continue to focus on high growth, developing and innovative companies. This will likely entail reducing the average investment exposure per company and the maximum allowable investment cost to any one company to a level that will ensure the Company's ability to provide financial support to all of its portfolio companies. For the publicly-traded portion of the portfolio, we will sustain the focus on innovative growth companies but will seek to increase the exposure over time towards companies with good trading liquidity and proven business models.

Schroder Investment Management Limited

30 April 2020

PRINCIPAL RISKS AND UNCERTAINTIES

The board has carried out a robust assessment of its principal and emerging risks during the period under review, including those that would threaten its business model, future performance, solvency, liquidity or reputation. This review has been done after reviewing the risks identified in the disclosures in the 2019 Interim Report as well as taking into account recent developments, especially those related to the appointment of the new Portfolio Manager and the impact of COVID-19. The process involves the maintenance of a risk register, which identifies the risks facing the Company and assesses each risk on a scale, classifying the likelihood of the risk and the potential impact of each risk to the Company. This helps the Audit, Risk and Valuation Committee and the board focus on any identified risk of particular concern and aids the development of the board's risk appetite. In developing the risk management process, the board took into consideration the Guidance on Risk Management, Internal Control and Related Financial and Business Reporting issued by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC).

The board has established controls to mitigate the risks faced by the Company, which are reviewed on a regular basis to ascertain the effectiveness of each control.

The Company's operations are undertaken by third-party service providers who have established controls to mitigate against risks identified by the board. The controls and operations of each service provider, other than the Company Secretary and Portfolio Manager, are subject to a detailed analysis of their operations, which includes testing their key systems to identify any weaknesses, by independent auditors on at least an annual basis. The findings of each review are detailed in Assurance Reports, copies of which are provided to the Audit, Risk and Valuation Committee for its review, so that it can gain a greater understanding of the risk management processes and how they apply to the Company's business. For this Company the Portfolio Manager operates a partially outsourced operational business model and the relevant assurance reports are the audited Annual Report of the Portfolio Manager where the auditor will have reviewed financial controls as well as the Portfolio Manager's own Internal Controls and Compliance reports, together with evidence of the relevant Business Continuity Plans and Disaster Recovery Plans.

The principal and emerging risks and uncertainties faced by the Company are set out below. The risks arising from the Company's financial instruments are set out in note 20 on pages 63 to 68 of the Annual Report.

The board has determined that the key risks for the Company are COVID-19 risk, gearing risk, performance risk, general valuation risk, portfolio specific valuation risk; investee company specific risk; portfolio concentration risk; Portfolio Manager and key man risk; outsourced service provider model risk; currency risk and cyber risk. The new Portfolio Manager was appointed in December 2019 and the debt facility was renegotiated which the board believes have both served to mitigate the risks set out in the Interim Report. These risks below are therefore forward looking from the establishment of these new agreements.

 
 Risk                                          Mitigation 
 1. COVID-19 
  The COVID-19 pandemic will clearly             The board receives regular updates 
  have a very general widespread                 from the Portfolio Manager regarding 
  economic impact. This may well                 the impact of the disease in 
  possibly be quite extreme in                   terms of both portfolio management 
  the shorter term depending on                  activities, the impact on investee 
  the scale of the response by                   companies and their responses 
  governments. The longer-term                   to the pandemic. 
  impacts could also be significant, 
  although these are unclear at                  The board receives assurances 
  the time of writing. The consequences          that service providers have 
  for the Company may well be                    implemented Business Continuity 
  lower valuation levels and greater             Plans. 
  difficulty in realising disposals 
  and/or lower prices realised 
  on disposal. 
 
  Individual investee companies 
  may be impacted by cash flow 
  and funding difficulties and/or 
  lower prices when so doing . 
  This in turn could impact valuations. 
  Their day-to-day business could 
  also be impacted by travel restrictions 
  and staffing issues. 
 
  Besides the general economic 
  impact, problems arising from 
  the COVID-19 pandemic could 
  result in specific supply-chain 
  problems for individual investee 
  companies and for pharmaceutical 
  companies, in particular delays 
  for clinical trials as a result 
  of difficulties in recruiting 
  patients. 
 
  A few companies in the portfolio 
  may prove to be beneficiaries 
  as they are involved in diagnostics 
  and advanced therapies. 
 
  Risks 2-6 listed below are all 
  likely exacerbated by the COVID-19 
  pandemic. 
 
  The staff of the Company's service 
  providers and of the investee 
  companies may be unduly impacted 
  by the disease resulting in 
  difficulties for them in delivering 
  their functions or in developing 
  their businesses. 
                                              ------------------------------------------ 
 2. Gearing risk 
  The Company has the ability                    The board receives regular reports 
  to employ gearing up to a maximum              from the Administrator on the 
  of 20 per cent of NAV, calculated              outstanding amount of the debt 
  at the time of borrowing. The                  and regular reports from the 
  Company has utilised its gearing               Portfolio Manager on the programme 
  facility in order to invest                    of disposals. Gearing is reviewed 
  further behind specific portfolio              by the board at each board meeting 
  companies which means there                    and more often, as necessary. 
  is less flexibility to make                    The Portfolio Manager provides 
  new investments and provide                    weekly updates to the debt provider. 
  follow-on funding to the portfolio 
  companies. A higher level of                   The board monitors the progress 
  gearing may have a significant                 of the reduction in gearing 
  downside effect on the Company's               and seeks to confirm with the 
  NAV during a period of poor                    Portfolio Manager that this 
  performance or decline in the                  process is nevertheless preserving 
  market and may impact the Company's            shareholder value. 
  debt covenants. 
                                                 The Portfolio Manager also provides 
  Other market participants may                  a thorough analysis of any anticipated 
  infer the Company may need to                  funding decisions and possible 
  sell certain listed equity positions           liquidity events of the portfolio 
  and choose to sell or short                    companies. This allows the board 
  these securities. Or investors                 to assess the Company's ability 
  in investee companies held by                  to meet its commitments and 
  the Company may infer the Company              maintain its financing facility. 
  has difficulty making further 
  funding decisions and may only                 Any time the loan facility terms 
  offer funding at valuations                    are being reconsidered, the 
  less attractive to the investee                board works very closely with 
  companies or seek to attach                    the Portfolio Manager to optimise 
  terms to such funding which                    any agreement. 
  is unattractive to the Company. 
                                                 The board discusses with the 
  In as much as the Portfolio                    Portfolio Manager the principles 
  Manager needs to make disposals                behind balancing a more rapid 
  in order to reduce gearing over                disposal programme at perhaps 
  a relatively short time horizon,               less favourable prices with 
  the prices achieved may be below               one of greater patience which 
  the prices which the positions                 might mean better disposal prices 
  are carried in the portfolio,                  albeit with the risk of needing 
  on a fair value basis, per International       to renegotiate the debt agreement. 
  Private Equity and Venture Capital 
  (IPEV) guidelines. 
 
  There may be difficulties when 
  companies have funding requirements 
  and the Company wishes to participate, 
  given the terms of the debt 
  facility and a need to seek 
  approval from the lender to 
  provide funding. 
 
  In late 2019, the board and 
  the Portfolio Manager entered 
  into a revised loan agreement 
  with the debt provider. This 
  rolled over the previous cost 
  of the debt funding but laid 
  down a schedule of repayments 
  arising from disposals during 
  2020. This constrains the Portfolio 
  Manager from making new investments 
  and failure to meet this schedule 
  could mean that the agreement 
  could be terminated or need 
  to be renegotiated, possibly 
  at less favourable terms or 
  that alternative capital providers 
  would need to be sought, which 
  might also be at less favourable 
  terms. The intention is to seek 
  to have repaid this debt facility 
  by January 2021. 
 
  A significant downturn in the 
  values of equity market assets, 
  which also impacts the valuations 
  of unquoted assets, could mean 
  it is significantly more difficult 
  to realise disposals or that 
  the prices that can be realised 
  are materially below the current 
  carrying values. Thus, this 
  may also trigger a need to renegotiate 
  the debt facility or simply 
  affect valuation levels. 
 
  Such an event could be triggered 
  by an economic correction, for 
  instance as a result of COVID-19, 
  although as a result of the 
  length of the current economic 
  cycle and of the current equity 
  market a wide variety of possible 
  triggers may also cause such 
  a correction. 
                                              ------------------------------------------ 
 3. Performance risk 
  There is always, for any investment            This risk is mitigated by the 
  portfolio, the generic risk                    board monitoring the performance 
  of poor performance arising                    of the portfolio and the decisions 
  as a result of poor decisions                  made by the Portfolio Manager 
  made by the Portfolio Manager.                 through detailed reporting on 
  In addition, given the long-term               the decisions. The board seeks 
  nature of this investment strategy             to evaluate the general quality 
  (up to 10 years) and the absence               and nature of portfolio decisions 
  of a clear benchmark, it is                    as well as the performance. 
  not necessarily easy to make                   Where the board determines that 
  an evaluation of the Portfolio                 the Portfolio Manager is not 
  Manager based simply on returns                performing to a satisfactory 
  over shorter periods.                          standard, the board, together 
                                                 with AIFM for the portfolio, 
                                                 LFS may decide to terminate 
                                                 the appointment of the Portfolio 
                                                 Manager under the terms of its 
                                                 contract. 
                                              ------------------------------------------ 
 4. General valuation risk 
  The valuation of unquoted early                The Company employs LFS, the 
  stage companies is inherently                  AIFM, who has been delegated 
  subjective. Valuation at a fixed               responsibility for the valuation 
  point in time may not be representative        of the assets in the portfolio. 
  of the medium or longer term.                  LFS, in turn, uses extensive 
  Particular events at a company                 research and input from its 
  or particular funding rounds                   own valuation specialist provider, 
  may have a significant impact.                 IHSMarkit. They conduct a regular 
  Information may not be as widely               rolling review of the valuation 
  available as with public companies.            of all portfolio assets and 
  Companies may not yet have meaningful          also review their valuations 
  revenues or profits. Considerable              in the event of any significant 
  uncertainty may exist around                   triggers at individual investee 
  the eventual feasibility and                   companies. They follow the widely 
  value of a particular technology               respected and widely followed 
  or its commercialisation.                      IPEV guidelines in executing 
                                                 these valuations; these processes 
                                                 are explained on pages 54 and 
                                                 55 of the Annual Report. 
                                              ------------------------------------------ 
 5. Portfolio specific valuation 
  risk                                           The board receives updates from 
  Where other portfolio managers                 the Portfolio Manager regarding 
  seek to make disposals of securities           disposal, investment and funding 
  held in portfolios they manage                 plans. In as much as the Portfolio 
  and these securities are also                  Manager is aware of the holdings 
  held by the Company, the valuation             the Fund is seeking to sell 
  of these securities may thereby                (because these were publicly 
  be affected. Equally, simply                   disclosed), the Portfolio Manager 
  market anticipation of these                   can adjust the divestment plan 
  disposals may also impact valuations.          accordingly. In addition, where 
                                                 necessary and possible, the 
  As the new Manager of the LF                   Portfolio Manager can seek to 
  Equity Income Fund (Fund), formerly            postpone or avoid further funding. 
  the LF Woodford Equity Income                  The Portfolio Manager regularly 
  Fund, which used to be managed                 categorises the Company's positions 
  by the Company's previous Portfolio            in terms of relative 
  Manager, seeks to make disposals               future importance, which helps 
  of unquoted positions in the                   the board assess divestment 
  Fund, in order to return capital               and funding decisions. 
  to investors, these disposals 
  may also, indirectly, when the 
  Company's independent valuation 
  agent, LFS, references prices 
  of recent transactions, lead 
  to downward revaluation of some 
  of the Company's holdings, unless 
  under IPEV guidelines the sales 
  were categorised as not being 
  "orderly" in the judgment of 
  the independent valuation agent. 
  International Financial Reporting 
  Standards (IFRS) guidelines 
  and their interpretation may 
  mean that sales regarded as 
  not being "orderly" under IPEV 
  guidelines may nevertheless 
  be so regarded under IFRS. 
 
  And, in as much as the wider 
  market and other investors in 
  the Company's investee companies 
  are also aware of the disposal 
  process of the Fund they may 
  seek more demanding terms on 
  any future funding rounds which 
  may also in turn impact valuations. 
                                              ------------------------------------------ 
 6. Investee company specific 
  risk                                           The Portfolio Manager conducts 
  The Company invests in a variety               regular reviews of these businesses 
  of biopharma and technology                    through engaging regularly with 
  businesses, many of them relatively            all investee companies to monitor 
  early stage, where the technology              progress. The Portfolio Manager 
  is not yet fully proven or commercialised.     also carries out due diligence 
  This can offer very significant                on the relevant technologies 
  financial success when the technology          and obtains regular updates. 
  delivers but also carries downside             The Portfolio Manager uses its 
  risks particular to the companies              own proprietary analytics to 
  concerned. The eventual outcome                assess the prospects for investee 
  for some of these companies                    companies and may also seek 
  may be somewhat binary in as                   expert third party opinions 
  much as either the technology                  regarding the likely success 
  works, or it does not, resulting               of the technology. The board 
  in the company concerned becoming              seeks assurance from the Portfolio 
  worth significantly less. Failure              Manager through its regular 
  may materialise, for instance,                 portfolio review meetings that 
  in the case of clinical trials                 thorough research has been, 
  for a biotechnology business,                  and is being, conducted. 
  in the case of scaling up or 
  commercialisation of an engineering 
  business or in terms of the 
  appearance of a new, previously 
  unknown competitor for a software 
  company. Leading edge commercial 
  scientific development in many 
  fields is by its nature risky. 
  The performance of the Company's 
  individual holdings, together 
  with market events, may thus 
  create short-term volatility 
  in the Company's NAV . 
                                              ------------------------------------------ 
 7. Portfolio concentration risk 
  Some of the Company's investments              The Company's portfolio is monitored 
  have demonstrated relatively                   closely by the board, the AIFM 
  more success and/or required                   and the Portfolio Manager. The 
  more funding than others, which                Company seeks to invest in a 
  has led to those investments                   diversified portfolio across 
  representing larger proportions                a wide range of companies so 
  of the portfolio than might                    as to mitigate against the risk 
  be expected. While both the                    posed by an individual early-stage 
  board and the Portfolio Manager                or early-growth company. However, 
  feel that undue concentration                  the board is mindful that the 
  is not desirable in the longer                 Company was established 
  term, in the shorter term, portfolio           with the aim of providing long-term 
  concentration can be acceptable.               growth and that concentration 
  In any event, the nature of                    can be a sign of success as 
  the investments means that any                 a result of assets backed becoming 
  rebalancing of the portfolio                   more valuable. Short-term liquidity 
  will likely take time, as they                 problems with the Company's 
  cannot always be sold quickly.                 underlying holdings, which may 
  The Portfolio Manager, under                   be compounded by market events, 
  delegated authority from the                   should be mitigated over time 
  board, has authority regarding                 when such companies deliver 
  portfolio construction and managing            on their milestones and value 
  questions of portfolio concentration           is recognised. 
  in the best interests of the 
  shareholders. This approach                    The board also considers increased 
  is in line with the Portfolio                  specific risk that may arise 
  Manager's investment strategy                  from increased concentration, 
  and investment philosophy. The                 as the result of the relative 
  alternative, of imposing limits                success of certain investee 
  on the size of any one investment,             companies. The board discusses 
  other than at the time of investment,          this risk with the Portfolio 
  would potentially result in                    Manager, and where appropriate 
  the Company being a forced seller              with the AIFM, with a view to 
  of an investment that still                    considering whether or not to 
  had further growth potential.                  seek to reduce the size of particularly 
                                                 large holdings within the portfolio. 
  The risk linked to any portfolio               However, the board is mindful 
  concentration might be compounded              that through the AIFM it has 
  due to the nature of some of                   delegated investment management 
  the businesses and the risks                   decisions to the Portfolio Manager 
  associated with both commercial                to make as it sees fit. 
  and technical milestones. 
                                              ------------------------------------------ 
 8. Portfolio Manager and key 
  man risk                                       The Portfolio Manager has a 
  The Portfolio Manager operates                 compensation and incentive scheme 
  a team approach to portfolio                   to retain key staff and has 
  management and decision making                 developed a suitable succession 
  so the risk arising from the                   planning programme, which seeks 
  departure of one or more of                    to ease the impact that the 
  the Portfolio Manager's key                    loss of a key investment professional 
  investment professionals should                may have on the Company's performance. 
  not necessarily prevent the                    The Portfolio Manager will notify 
  Company from achieving its investment          any change in its key professionals 
  objective.                                     to 
                                                 the board at the earliest possible 
  The Portfolio Manager could                    opportunity and the board will 
  terminate its contract with                    be made aware of all efforts 
  the Company. This event would                  made to fill a vacancy. Furthermore, 
  have an impact on the management               investment decisions are made 
  of the portfolio and would constitute          by a team of 
  a technical default on the debt                professionals, mitigating the 
  facility, requiring renegotiation              impact of the loss of any key 
  or substitution, likely on less                professional within the Portfolio 
  favourable terms.                              Manager's organisation on the 
                                                 Company's performance. 
 
                                                 Recent experience suggests that 
                                                 the board would be able to identify 
                                                 an alternative Portfolio Manager 
                                                 should the need arise. 
                                              ------------------------------------------ 
 9. Outsourced service provider 
  model risk                                     The performance of the Company's 
  The Company has no employees                   service providers is monitored 
  and the Directors have been                    closely by the board and in 
  appointed on a non-executive                   particular by the Management 
  basis. The Company is reliant                  Engagement Committee. The Management 
  upon the performance of third-party            Engagement Committee monitors 
  service providers for its executive            service providers and their 
  function. The AIFM, the Portfolio              activities. Each of the service 
  Manager, the Depositary, the                   providers has a notice period 
  Company Secretary and the Administrator        so as to allow an alternative 
  will be performing services                    to be appointed. 
  that are integral to the operation 
  of the Company. Failure of any 
  of its third-party service providers 
  to perform in accordance with 
  the terms of its appointment 
  could have a material detrimental 
  impact on the operation of the 
  Company. Furthermore, any 
  of the Company's service providers 
  could terminate their contract. 
                                              ------------------------------------------ 
 10. Currency risk 
  In as much as the Portfolio                    The Portfolio Manager regularly 
  Manager now no longer seeks                    reports to the board and highlights 
  to hedge non-sterling currency                 any significant impacts of currency 
  exposures through forward foreign              movements on the value of investments. 
  exchange contracts and some 
  of the Company's investments 
  are based wholly or partly outside 
  the UK or have revenues in currencies 
  other than sterling then the 
  value of the portfolio, in sterling 
  terms, may be affected negatively 
  by a rise in sterling relative 
  to these other currencies and, 
  equally, positively by a fall 
  in sterling. 
                                              ------------------------------------------ 
 11. Cyber risk 
  Each of the Company's service                  The board receives controls 
  providers is at risk of cyber                  reports from its service providers 
  attack, data theft, service                    which describe the protective 
  disruption, etc. While the risk                measures they take as well as 
  of financial loss by the Company               their Business Recovery Plans. 
  is probably small, the risk 
  of 
  reputational damage and the 
  risk of loss of control of sensitive 
  information is more significant, 
  for instance a GDPR breach. 
  Many of the Company's service 
  providers and the board often 
  have sensitive information regarding 
  transactions or pricing and 
  information regarded as inside 
  information in regulatory terms. 
  Data theft or data corruption 
  per se is regarded as a lower 
  order risk as relevant data 
  is held in multiple 
  locations. 
                                              ------------------------------------------ 
 

Emerging risks and uncertainties

During the year, the board also discussed and monitored a number of emerging risks that could potentially impact the Company's ability to meet its strategic objectives.

1. Given the prolonged economic and stock market cycle, the generally high levels of equity market valuations, even following recent corrections, both global economies and/or global equity markets could be vulnerable to further significant correction as a result of various different possible trigger events, besides COVID-19. This would likely affect valuations of the portfolio holdings.

2. Brexit negotiations create the possibility of a wide variety of unknown legislative and economic consequences.

3. Investors generally may become disenchanted with the listed investment structure as an appropriate vehicle for investing in unquoted early-stage companies.

4. While some investee companies in the portfolio are pursuing technologies that might help mitigate climate change or that might see an increase in demand as a result of climate change, the risks arising from further climate change are thought unlikely to have a direct impact on the Company over the next 5-10 years, given its investment objectives. However, investee companies generally could well be affected by various possible indirect generalised negative economic impacts arising from climate change.

GOING CONCERN

The board has considered the risks arising from the need to repay the Company's bank loan, particularly in light of the reduced asset values and economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The board continues to hold regular and constructive discussions with the lender who remains supportive. The board has scrutinised the detailed cash flow forecast prepared by the Portfolio Manager and considered their assessment of the likelihood and quantum of funds which could be raised from sales of investments. The Portfolio Manager has also performed a range of stress tests, and demonstrated to the board that even in an adverse scenario of depressed markets and restrictions on sales in the private equity market, the Company could still, within the terms of the loan agreement, generate sufficient funds from sales of investments to meet its liabilities over the next twelve months. As a result, the board is comfortable that the Company will have sufficient liquid funds to pay operating expenses, service the loan and pay down the loan in accordance with the terms of the loan agreement.

The board have also considered the provisions in the new loan agreement, and have taken into account the current total debt of GBP107m in the context of gross assets of GBP563.4m at 31 December 2019, the fact that the loan is due for repayment or refinance in January 2021 and the need to seek to maintain a certain aggregate level of listed investments as a per cent of the value of the total portfolio. Recent discussions with the loan provider have demonstrated their ongoing constructive approach to working with the Company as a lender.

On this basis, the board considers it appropriate to adopt the going concern basis of accounting in the Company's accounts, and has not identified any material uncertainties to the Company's ability to continue as a going concern over a period of at least twelve months from the date of approval of these financial statements.

VIABILITY STATEMENT

In accordance with Provision 36 of the AIC Code of Corporate Governance, published in February 2019, the board has assessed the prospects of the Company over the five-year period ending 31 December 2024. The board considers a five-year period to be appropriate because it is the minimum holding period that it would recommend to a prospective investor considering purchasing shares in the Company.

The board has considered the Principal Risks above. The board has considered detailed cash flow forecasts prepared by the Manager, and stress case scenarios, including the possibility of breach of its loan covenants. In making its assessment, the board has also considered the positive impact of steps taken in the last ten months to secure the viability of the Company. Three new directors with diverse skills and experience have been appointed. It has appointed Schroders as Portfolio Manager as described on pages 29 and 30 of the Annual Report. Schroders is well-capitalised and resourced; has the necessary skills and experience; and uses a team-based approach. It has signed a new debt agreement which extends the timeline for the repayment of debt to January 2021. It has agreed with the new Portfolio Manager a new investment strategy and guidelines (see pages 70 and 71 of the Annual Report), which includes a move over time to having a higher percentage of the portfolio in listed securities and reducing debt.

The board believes that the portfolio will provide shareholders with satisfactory returns from the investment portfolio over a five-year period and that there will be continued demand for the Company's shares.

Although there may well be short term strains arising from the current economic crisis driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, and some companies in the portfolio may be severely affected, the portfolio's exposure to healthcare companies which may benefit from the pandemic will help to provide a balance. Based on current understanding, as with other pandemics, the impact will diminish over time and the opportunities arising from investing in new innovative businesses will remain. It should therefore be possible for the new Portfolio Manager to have moved materially to implement the new strategy within a five-year timeframe. Having considered all of the Company's resources, strategy, risks and probabilities, the board has a reasonable expectation that the Company will continue to operate and meet its liabilities as they fall due, during the five year period to 31 December 2024.

By order of the board

Link Company Matters Limited

Company Secretary

30 April 2020

Board of Directors

Susan Searle - Independent non-executive Chairman

Raymond Abbott - Independent non-executive director

Stephen Cohen - Independent non-executive director

Jane Tufnell - Senior independent non-executive director

Scott Brown - Independent non-executive director

STATEMENT OF DIRECTORS' RESPONSIBILITIES

The directors are responsible for preparing the Annual Report and the financial statements in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. Company law requires the directors to prepare financial statements for each financial year. Under that law, the directors have elected to prepare the financial statements in accordance with UK Accounting Standards and applicable law, including FRS 102 "The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland". Under company law, the directors must not approve the financial statements unless they are satisfied that they give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the Company as at the end of each financial year and of the profit or loss of the Company for that period.

In preparing these financial statements, the directors are required to:

   -     present fairly the financial position, financial performance and cash flows of the Company; 

- select suitable accounting policies in accordance with United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (UK GAAP) and then apply them consistently;

- present information, including accounting policies, in a manner that provides relevant, reliable, comparable and understandable information;

   -     make judgements and estimates that are reasonable and prudent; 

- state whether applicable UK accounting standards have been followed, subject to any material departures disclosed and explained in the financial statements; and

- prepare the financial statements on a going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume that the Company will continue in business.

The directors are responsible for keeping adequate accounting records that are sufficient to show and explain the Company's transactions and disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the Company and enable them to ensure that the financial statements comply with the Companies Act 2006. They are also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the Company and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities.

The directors are also responsible for preparing the strategic report, the directors' report, the directors' remuneration report and the report of the Audit, Risk and Valuation Committee in accordance with the Companies Act 2006 and applicable regulations, including the requirements of the Listing Rules and the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules.

The directors have delegated responsibility to the Portfolio Manager for the maintenance of the Company's corporate and financial information included on its web pages. Legislation in the UK governing the preparation and dissemination of financial statements may differ from

legislation in other jurisdictions.

Each of the directors, whose names are listed above, confirms that, to the best of their knowledge:

- the financial statements, prepared in accordance with applicable accounting standards, give a true and fair view of the assets, liabilities, financial position and profit/loss of the Company; and

- the strategic report contained in the Annual Report and financial statements include a fair review of the development and performance of the business and the position of the Company, together with a description of the principal risks and uncertainties that it faces.

The AIC Code of Corporate Governance requires directors to ensure that the Annual Report and financial statements are fair, balanced and understandable. In order to reach a conclusion on this matter, the board has requested that the Audit, Risk and Valuation Committee advises on whether it considers that the Annual Report and financial statements fulfil these requirements. The process by which the Audit, Risk and Valuation Committee has reached these conclusions is set out in its report on pages 35 to 37 of the Annual Report. As a result, the board has concluded that the Annual Report and financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2019, taken as a whole, are fair, balanced and understandable and provide the information necessary for shareholders to assess the Company's position and performance, business model and strategy.

Signed on behalf of the board of directors by:

Susan Searle

Chairman

30 April 2020

INCOME STATEMENT FOR THE YEARED 31 DECEMBER 2019

 
                                               2019                              2018 
                                Revenue     Capital       Total    Revenue    Capital      Total 
                        Note    GBP'000     GBP'000     GBP'000    GBP'000    GBP'000    GBP'000 
 (Losses)/gains 
  on investments 
  held at 
  fair value 
  through 
  profit 
  or loss                             -   (421,175)   (421,175)          -     77,089     77,089 
 Losses 
  on foreign 
  forward 
  currency 
  contracts                           -     (9,373)     (9,373)          -   (21,337)   (21,337) 
 Losses 
  on foreign 
  exchange                            -         (1)         (1)          -          -          - 
 Income 
  from investments         2          -           -           -        281          -        281 
---------------------  -----  ---------  ----------  ----------  ---------  ---------  --------- 
 Gross (loss)/return                  -   (430,549)   (430,549)        281     55,752     56,033 
 Portfolio 
  management 
  fee                      3          -           -           -          -          -          - 
 Administrative 
  expenses                 4    (3,115)           -     (3,115)    (1,276)          -    (1,276) 
---------------------  -----  ---------  ----------  ----------  ---------  ---------  --------- 
 Net (loss)/return 
  before 
  finance 
  costs 
  and taxation                  (3,115)   (430,549)   (433,664)      (995)     55,752     54,757 
 Finance 
  costs                    5    (2,841)           -     (2,841)    (2,852)          -    (2,852) 
---------------------  -----  ---------  ----------  ----------  ---------  ---------  --------- 
 Net (loss)/return 
  before 
  taxation                      (5,956)   (430,549)   (436,505)    (3,847)     55,752     51,905 
 Taxation                  6          -           -           -          -          -          - 
---------------------  -----  ---------  ----------  ----------  ---------  ---------  --------- 
 Net (loss)/return 
  after taxation                (5,956)   (430,549)   (436,505)    (3,847)     55,752     51,905 
---------------------  -----  ---------  ----------  ----------  ---------  ---------  --------- 
 (Loss)/return 
  per share                8    (0.67)p    (48.08)p    (48.75)p    (0.47)p      6.74p      6.27p 
---------------------  -----  ---------  ----------  ----------  ---------  ---------  --------- 
 

The "Total" column of this statement is the profit and loss account of the Company. The "Revenue" and "Capital" columns represent supplementary information prepared under guidance issued by The Association of Investment Companies. The Company has no other items of other comprehensive income, and therefore the net (loss)/return after taxation is also the total comprehensive income for the year.

All revenue and capital items in the above statement derive from continuing operations. No operations were acquired or discontinued in the year.

The notes form an integral part of these accounts.

STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN EQUITY

FOR THE YEARED 31 DECEMBER 2019

 
                              Called-up 
                                  Share      Share     Capital    Revenue 
                                Capital    Premium    Reserves    Reserve 
                       Note     GBP'000    GBP'000     GBP'000    GBP'000       Total 
 At 31 December 
  2017                            8,270    813,099    (62,137)    (3,937)     755,295 
 Net return/(loss)                    -          -      55,752    (3,847)      51,905 
-------------------  ------  ----------  ---------  ----------  ---------  ---------- 
 At 31 December 
  2018                            8,270    813,099     (6,385)    (7,784)     807,200 
 Net loss                             -          -   (430,549)    (5,956)   (436,595) 
 Issue of shares                    816     78,105           -          -      78,921 
 Share issue costs                    -      (187)           -          -       (187) 
-------------------  ------  ----------  ---------  ----------  ---------  ---------- 
 At 31 December 
  2019                13/14       9,086    891,017   (436,934)   (13,740)     449,429 
-------------------  ------  ----------  ---------  ----------  ---------  ---------- 
 

The notes form an integral part of these accounts.

 
                                                       2019        2018 
                                           Note     GBP'000     GBP'000 
 Fixed assets 
 Investments held at fair value through 
  profit or loss                              9     561,115     963,613 
----------------------------------------  -----  ----------  ---------- 
 Current assets                              10 
 Debtors                                                 30          11 
 Cash at hand and in bank                             2,234           - 
 Derivative financial instruments held 
  at fair value through profit or loss                    -       1,065 
----------------------------------------  -----  ----------  ---------- 
                                                      2,264       1,076 
----------------------------------------  -----  ----------  ---------- 
 Current liabilities                         11 
 Creditors: amounts falling due within 
  one year                                          (1,050)   (150,449) 
 Derivative financial instruments held 
  at fair value through profit or loss                    -     (7,040) 
----------------------------------------  -----  ----------  ---------- 
                                                    (1,050)   (157,489) 
----------------------------------------  -----  ----------  ---------- 
 Net current assets/(liabilities)                     1,214   (156,413) 
----------------------------------------  -----  ----------  ---------- 
 Total assets less current liabilities              562,329     807,200 
 Creditors: amounts falling due after 
  more than one year                         12   (112,900)           - 
----------------------------------------  -----  ----------  ---------- 
 Net assets                                         449,429     807,200 
----------------------------------------  -----  ----------  ---------- 
 Capital and reserves 
 Called-up share capital                     13       9,086       8,270 
 Share premium                               14     891,017     813,099 
 Capital reserves                            14   (436,934)     (6,385) 
 Revenue reserve                             14    (13,740)     (7,784) 
----------------------------------------  -----  ----------  ---------- 
 Total equity shareholders' funds                   449,429     807,200 
----------------------------------------  -----  ----------  ---------- 
 Net asset value per share                   15      49.46p      97.61p 
 

STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION

AT 31 DECEMBER 2019

These accounts were approved and authorised for issue by the board of directors on 30 April 2020 and signed on its behalf by:

Susan Searle

Chairman

The notes below form an integral part of these accounts.

Registered in England and Wales as a public company limited by shares

Company registration number: 09405653

CASH FLOW STATEMENT

FOR THE YEARED 31 DECEMBER 2019

 
                                                              2019        2018 
                                                           GBP'000     GBP'000 
 Cash flows from operation activities 
 Return before finance costs and taxation                (433,664)      54,757 
 
 Adjustments for: 
 Losses/(gains) on investments held at fair 
  value through profit or loss                             421,175    (77,089) 
 Net movement in foreign forward currency contracts          9,373      21,337 
 Net movement in foreign exchange                                1           - 
 Increase in debtors                                          (19)         (7) 
 Increase /(decrease) in creditors                             578          45 
------------------------------------------------------  ----------  ---------- 
 Net cash flows from operating activities                  (2,556)       (957) 
------------------------------------------------------  ----------  ---------- 
 Cash flows from investment activities 
 Purchases of investments                                (137,143)   (117,186) 
 Proceeds from sales of investments                        191,387     135,802 
 Net movement in foreign forward currency contracts       (15,349)    (15,362) 
------------------------------------------------------  ----------  ---------- 
 Net cash flow from investment activities                   38,895       3,254 
------------------------------------------------------  ----------  ---------- 
 Cash flows from financing activities 
 Issue of shares                                             6,000           - 
 Share issue costs                                           (187)           - 
 Finance costs                                             (2,852)     (2,852) 
------------------------------------------------------  ----------  ---------- 
 Net cash flow from financing activities                     2,961     (2,852) 
------------------------------------------------------  ----------  ---------- 
 Net increase/(decrease) in cash and cash equivalents       39,300       (555) 
 Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning 
  of the year                                            (149,966)   (149,411) 
 Reclassification of overdraft liabilities 
  in the year(1)                                           112,900           - 
------------------------------------------------------  ----------  ---------- 
 Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the 
  year                                                       2,234   (149,966) 
------------------------------------------------------  ----------  ---------- 
 

(1) Following the amendments to the term facility agreement with the Northern Trust Company the overdraft has been reclassified as a loan.

NOTES TO THE ACCOUNTS

1. Accounting policies

Basis of accounting

Schroder UK Public Private Trust plc (the Company) is registered in England and Wales as a public company limited by shares. The Company's registered office is Beaufort House, 51 New North Road, Exeter EX4 4EP, United Kingdom.

The accounts are prepared in accordance with the Companies Act 2006, United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (UK GAAP), in particular in accordance with Financial Reporting Standard (FRS) 102 "The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland", and with the Statement of Recommended Practice "Financial Statements of Investment Trust Companies and Venture Capital Trusts" (the SORP) issued by the Association of Investment Companies in October 2019. All of the Company's operations are of a continuing nature.

The accounts have been prepared on a going concern basis under the historical cost convention, as modified by the revaluation of investments and derivative financial instruments held at fair value through profit or loss. The directors believe that the Company has adequate resources to continue operating for at least 12 months from the date of approval of these accounts.

In forming this opinion, the directors have taken into consideration: the controls and monitoring processes in place; the Company's level of debt and other payables; the low level of operating expenses, comprising largely variable costs which would reduce pro rata in the event of a market downturn; the Company's cash flow forecasts and the liquidity of the Company's investments.

The financial statements have been prepared on a going concern basis (see above) and on assumption that approval as an investment trust will continue to be granted.

The Company has adopted the provisions of Section 11 and 12 of FRS 102 for measuring and disclosing its financial instruments.

The accounts are presented in sterling and amounts have been rounded to the nearest thousand.

The accounting policies applied to these accounts are consistent with those applied in the accounts for the year ended 31 December 2018.

2. Income

 
                            2019       2018 
                         GBP'000    GBP'000 
--------------------  ----------  --------- 
 Overseas dividends            -        195 
 UK dividends                  -         86 
--------------------  ----------  --------- 
 Total                         -        281 
--------------------  ----------  --------- 
 

3. Portfolio management fee

The Company appointed Schroder Investment Management Limited (Schroder) as Portfolio Manager, effective from 13 December 2019. Under the terms of the new management agreement, Schroder is entitled to a management fee and a performance fee, subject to achieving performance targets. Details of these calculations are set out in the Directors' Report on page 30 of the Annual Report. No fees are payable to Schroder in respect of the current year under the terms of the new agreement.

Under the terms of the previous management agreement, Woodford Investment Management Ltd was entitled to a fee, conditional upon meeting certain performance targets (a "performance fee"). No performance fee was earned to the contract termination date. No other management fee was payable under the terms of that agreement.

Details of all transactions with the current and previous Portfolio Managers are given in note 17 on page 62 of the Annual Report.

4. Administrative expenses

 
                                                 2019       2018 
                                              GBP'000    GBP'000 
------------------------------------------  ---------  --------- 
 
 Other administration expenses                  1,896        643 
 Valuation fees                                   282        292 
 Directors' fees(1)                               210        181 
 Company secretarial fee                          122         74 
 Auditor's remuneration for the audit 
  of the Company's annual accounts(2)             346         72 
 Auditor's remuneration for audit related 
  services interim review(2)                      286         14 
 Total                                          3,115      1,276 
------------------------------------------  ---------  --------- 
 

(1) Full details are given in the remuneration report on page 40 of the Annual Report.

(2) Annual audit fees includes VAT amounting to GBP46,000 (2018: GBP2,000). Interim review fees include VAT amounting to GBP38,000 (2018: GBP2,000).

5. Finance costs

 
                                              2019       2018 
                                           GBP'000    GBP'000 
---------------------------------------  ---------  --------- 
 
 Bank loan/overdraft fees and interest       2,841      2,852 
---------------------------------------  ---------  --------- 
 

6. Taxation

(a) Analysis of tax charge for the year:

 
                          2019                              2018 
---------  ---------------------------------  ------------------------------- 
 
             Revenue     Capital       Total    Revenue    Capital      Total 
             GBP'000     GBP'000     GBP'000    GBP'000    GBP'000    GBP'000 
---------  ---------  ----------  ----------  ---------  ---------  --------- 
 
 Taxation 
                   -           -           -          -          -          - 
---------  ---------  ----------  ----------  ---------  ---------  --------- 
 

The Company has no corporation tax liability for the year ended 31 December 2019 (2018: nil).

(b) Factors affecting the tax charge for the year:

The factors affecting the current tax charge for the year are as follows:

 
                                         2019                               2018 
 
                             Revenue     Capital       Total    Revenue    Capital      Total 
                             GBP'000     GBP'000     GBP'000    GBP'000    GBP'000    GBP'000 
 
   Net return before 
   taxation                  (5,956)   (430,549)   (436,505)    (3,847)     55,752     51,905 
------------------------  ----------  ----------  ----------  ---------  ---------  --------- 
 Net return before 
  taxation multiplied 
  by the Company's 
  applicable rate 
  of corporation 
  tax for the year 
  of 19.0% (2018: 
  19.0%)                     (1,132)    (81,804)    (82,936)      (731)     10,593      9,862 
 Effects of: 
 Capital loss/(return) 
  on investments                   -      81,804      81,804          -   (10,593)   (10,593) 
 UK dividends 
  which are not 
  taxable                          -           -           -       (16)          -       (16) 
 Loan relationship 
  deficit not untilised          540           -         540        554          -        554 
 Movement in unutilised 
  management expenses            560           -         560        230          -        230 
 Overseas dividends                -           -           -       (37)          -       (37) 
 Expenses not 
  deductible for 
  UK corporation 
  tax purposes                    32           -          32          -          -          - 
------------------------  ----------  ----------  ----------  ---------  ---------  --------- 
 Taxation                          -           -           -          -          -          - 
------------------------  ----------  ----------  ----------  ---------  ---------  --------- 
 

(c) Deferred taxation

The Company is not liable to corporation tax on its chargeable gains due to its status as an investment trust. Due to the Company's status as an investment trust, and the intention to continue meeting the conditions required to obtain approval in the foreseeable future, the Company has not provided for deferred tax on any chargeable gains and losses arising on the revaluation or disposal of investments.

The Company has an unrecognised deferred tax asset of GBP2,801,000 (2018: GBP1,816,000 - this amount has been adjusted to reflect the losses carried forward per the final submitted tax return) based on a prospective corporation tax rate of 17%. It is unlikely that the Company will generate sufficient taxable profits in the future to utilise these expenses and therefore no deferred tax asset in respect of these expenses has been recognised.

7. Dividend

No dividends have been paid or proposed for the year ended 31 December 2019 (2018: nil).

8. (Loss)/return per share

 
                                   2019          2018 
                                GBP'000       GBP'000 
 Revenue loss                   (5,956)       (3,847) 
 Capital loss/(return)        (430,549)        55,752 
-------------------------  ------------  ------------ 
 Total (loss)/return          (436,505)        51,905 
-------------------------  ------------  ------------ 
 Weighted average number 
  of shares in issue 
  during the year           895,442,758   827,000,000 
 Revenue loss per share         (0.67)p       (0.47)p 
 Capital (loss)/return 
  per share                    (48.08)p         6.74p 
-------------------------  ------------  ------------ 
 Total (loss)/return 
  per share                    (48.75)p         6.27p 
-------------------------  ------------  ------------ 
 

9. Creditors: amounts falling due after more than one year

 
  31 December       2019       2018 
                 GBP'000    GBP'000 
-------------  ---------  --------- 
 
 Bank loan       112,900          - 
 

On 13 December 2019, the Company amended its term facility agreement with the Northern Trust Company. At the year end the Company had drawn down GBP112,900,000 on the facility, which expires on 15 January 2021. The loan is secured on all the Company's assets. The agreement requires that, subject to an allowance for operating expenses, the proceeds of Private Asset sales must be used to make loan repayments, which cannot be redrawn. Furthermore, the Company may not make further Private Asset investments until certain repayments have been made. The loan agreement also requires the Company to seek to maintain a balance between the listed and unlisted investments in the portfolio. Interest payable will be calculated at LIBOR, for one month or other agreed loan period, plus a margin of 1.5%.

Following the amendments to the term facility agreement with the Northern Trust Company the overdraft has been reclassified as a loan.

The directors consider that the carrying amount of creditors falling due after more than one year approximates to their fair value.

10. Called-up share capital

 
 Ordinary shares allotted, called up and                   2019       2018 
  fully paid:                                           GBP'000    GBP'000 
----------------------------------------------------  ---------  --------- 
 
 Ordinary shares of 1p each: 
 Opening balance of 827,000,000 (2018: 827,000,000) 
  shares                                                  8,270      8,270 
 Issue of 81,639,238 (2018: nil) shares                     816          - 
 Closing balance of 908,639,238 (2018:827,000,000) 
  shares                                                  9,086      8,270 
----------------------------------------------------  ---------  --------- 
 

During the year, 81,639,238 new shares, nominal value GBP816,392, were issued to the LF Woodford Equity Income Fund at a price of 96.67p per share, being a premium to NAV per share and thus accretive to existing shareholders. The consideration amounted to GBP78.9 million, and comprised GBP72.9 million in unquoted assets and GBP6.0 million in cash.

11. Net asset value per share

 
                                                   2019          2018 
-----------------------------------------  ------------  ------------ 
 
 Net assets attributable to shareholders 
  (GBP'000)                                     449,429       807,200 
 Shares in issue at the year end            908,639,238   827,000,000 
 Net asset value per share                       49.46p        97.61p 
-----------------------------------------  ------------  ------------ 
 

12. Disclosures regarding financial instruments measured at fair value

The Company's financial instruments within the scope of FRS 102 that are held at fair value comprise its investment portfolio and derivative financial instruments.

FRS 102 requires that financial instruments held at fair value are categorised into a hierarchy consisting of the three levels below. A fair value measurement is categorised in its entirety on the basis of the lowest level input that is significant to the fair value measurement.

Level 1 - valued using unadjusted quoted prices in active markets for identical assets.

Level 2 - valued using observable inputs other than quoted prices included within Level 1.

Level 3 - valued using inputs that are unobservable.

Details of the Company's policy for valuing investments and any derivative instruments are given in note 1(b) on pages 54 and 55 and 1(g) on page 56 of the Annual Report. Level 3 investments have been valued in accordance with note 1(b)(i) - (v).

At 31 December, the Company's investment portfolio and any derivative financial instruments were categorised as follows:

 
                                                            2019 
                                                                   Level 
                                           Level 1    Level 2          3      Total 
                                           GBP'000    GBP'000    GBP'000    GBP'000 
 Investments in equities    - quoted        53,476          -     80,811    134,287 
------------------------- 
  - unquoted                                     -          -    426,828    426,828 
 --------------------------------------  ---------  ---------  ---------  --------- 
 Total                                      53,476          -    507,639    561,115 
---------------------------------------  ---------  ---------  ---------  --------- 
 
 
                                                            2018 
                                                                   Level 
                                           Level 1    Level 2          3      Total 
                                           GBP'000    GBP'000    GBP'000    GBP'000 
 Investments in equities    - quoted       224,847          -    110,903    355,750 
------------------------- 
  - unquoted                                     -          -    627,863    627,863 
 --------------------------------------  ---------  ---------  ---------  --------- 
 Derivative financial instruments 
  - forward currency contracts                   -    (5,975)          -    (5,975) 
---------------------------------------  ---------  ---------  ---------  --------- 
 Total                                     224,847    (5,975)    738,766    957,638 
---------------------------------------  ---------  ---------  ---------  --------- 
 

Movements in fair value measurements included in Level 3 during the year are as follows:

 
                                                   2019       2018 
                                                GBP'000    GBP'000 
 Opening book cost                              580,006    568,151 
 Opening investment holding gains               158,760     51,115 
-------------------------------------------  ----------  --------- 
 Opening valuation                              738,766    619,266 
 Purchase at cost                               126,733    109,913 
 Investments received as consideration for 
  share issue                                    72,921          - 
 Sale proceeds                                 (81,390)   (79,844) 
 Transfer between unquoted/quoted                     -   (61,016) 
 Net movement in investment holding gains 
  and losses                                  (349,391)    150,447 
-------------------------------------------  ----------  --------- 
 Closing valuation                              507,639    738,766 
-------------------------------------------  ----------  --------- 
 Closing book cost                              702,358    580,006 
 Closing investment holding gains             (194,719)    158,760 
-------------------------------------------  ----------  --------- 
 Total level 3 investments held at fair 
  value through profit or loss                  507,639    738,766 
-------------------------------------------  ----------  --------- 
 

The company received GBP81,390,000 (2018: GBP79,844,000) from Level 3 investments sold in the year. The book cost of the investments when they were purchased was GBP77,302,000 (2018: GBP37,042,000). These investments have been revalued over-time until they were sold any unrealised gains/losses were included in the fair value of the investments.

13. Events the accounting date that have not been reflects in the financial statements

The Directors have also sought to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the NAV and have used two separate methodologies. On the one hand a bottom up analysis of individual companies based on work already done for the March 31st NAV by LFS as AIFM and responsible for valuation, suggests an aggregate impact of -3.3%. On the other hand, using a portfolio-weighted basket of relevant stock market sector indices and looking at their percentage change from December 31st through April 17th, the suggested portfolio NAV impact is -7.4%. This latter approach assumes that the main factor in changing stock market valuations over the period was the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Clearly, at the time of writing realistic forecasting even of the short term impact of this global pandemic let alone the longer term impact is very difficult and such forecasting may well be subject to the train of rapidly unfolding events. Thus, with all due caveats, the Directors believe that, as currently assessed, the impact from COVID-19 on the portfolio NAV up until April 17(th) has been in the range of -3% to -8%. The Company will be releasing the March 31st, 2020 NAV during the second calendar quarter of 2020 which should provide a more up to date indication of the COVID-19 impact on the portfolio.

Subsequent to the year end, the Company has made repayments totalling GBP5.9 million of its bank loan, which now amounts to GBP107.0 million, at April 17th 2020.

14. Status of announcement

2018 Financial Information

The figures and financial information for 2018 are extracted from the published Annual Report and accounts for the year ended 31 December 2018 and do not constitute the statutory accounts for that year. The 2018 Annual Report and accounts have been delivered to the Registrar of Companies and included the Report of the Independent Auditors which was unqualified and did not contain a statement under either section 498(2) or section 498(3) of the Companies Act 2006.

2019 Financial Information

The figures and financial information for 2019 are extracted from the Annual Report and accounts for the year ended 31 December 2019 and do not constitute the statutory accounts for the year. The 2019 Annual Report and accounts include the Report of the Independent Auditors which is unqualified and does not contain a statement under either section 498(2) or section 498(3) of the Companies Act 2006. The 2019 Annual Report and Accounts will be delivered to the Registrar of Companies in due course.

LEI: 2138008X94M7OVE73I77

Neither the contents of the Company's webpages nor the contents of any website accessible from hyperlinks on the Company's webpages (or any other website) is incorporated into, or forms part of, this announcement.

This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact rns@lseg.com or visit www.rns.com.

END

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