New fund manager to be appointed for SA Venture Capital Fund

The independent committee that manages the SA Venture Capital Fund has commenced a process to appoint a new venture capital fund manager to oversee investments of the $50 million SA Venture Capital Fund (SAVCF).

This independent SAVCF Management Committee is chaired by respected businessman Raymond Spencer.

In July 2017, the former Labor government entered into an agreement with BlueSky Venture Capital (BSVC) to manage the SAVCF.

In recent months, BSVC’s parent company, BlueSky Limited, has been placed into administration following a turbulent year including an overhaul of its board and executive management, a falling share price and the execution of a subscription agreement with Oaktree Capital Management to secure a $50 million 7-year secured loan facility.

Receivers, KordaMentha, have since indicated to the SAVCF Management Committee that Oaktree has no interest in the venture capital component of the BlueSky business.

Treasurer Rob Lucas said, based on advice from the independent management committee, the preferred model will have the Adelaide-based BSVC team continue to manage the SA Venture Capital Fund, but as employees of a new yet-to-be appointed fund manager.

“I am advised the team has continued to manage the SA Venture Capital Fund effectively – notwithstanding the events that have impacted its parent company over the past year – and has met all its obligations under the terms of the management agreement,” said Mr Lucas.

“In the past two years they have evaluated more than 350 investment opportunities and actively manage $6 million into three investments in the fund (Myriota, Kid Sense and Fivecast Pty Ltd) leveraging a further $18.1 million in private sector capital.

“The independent SAVCF management committee expects this level of activity to continue.”

Mr Lucas said the management committee will engage in an Expression of Interest and Proposal process to select a new venture capital fund manager to mange the SA Venture Capital Fund with the preferred model being to retain the existing local BSVC team.

It is expected that the EOI will be released to market in mid-August 2019.

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