Britain’s first listed investment trust focused on the final frontier is exploring alternative ways to raise capital after seeing its shares plummet amid weakening investor sentiment.
Sky News has learned that the Seraphim Space Investment Trust, which has backed innovative companies such as SatelliteVu, an infrared data company, and Altitude Angel, a drone technology developer, is exploring plans to secure new funding outside its listed corporate structure.
Banking sources said on Tuesday that Seraphim Space was considering plans to create a so-called sidecar fund, into which investors could inject a significant amount of money to support new space technology companies.
It is also said to be evaluating other potential structures for raising money that do not involve issuing equity through the listed company.
Seraphim Space has seen its shares plummet by a third over the past 12 months, leaving it trading at a very significant discount to the net asset value of its portfolio.
Its discussions with advisers about raising new capital are said to be at a relatively early stage.
A source said it wanted to raise more than £150m, although the timing, size and structure of any deal would depend on investor appetite and market conditions.
Mark Boggett, managing director of Seraphim Space Manager LLP, which manages the trust, announced its full-year results last month: “While we expect to continue to diversify the portfolio with selective new investments, there is uncertainty around the timing of market recovery (and therefore our ability to to raise new equity capital) that the size of new investments is likely to be small and investment activity is expected to be more weighted in favor of supporting the existing portfolio until such time as the market provides the appropriate conditions to fundraise.”
Seraphim Space had drawn up plans for a conventional stock sale early last year, but saw its plans deflated by the decline in tech stocks.
The company is headed by Will Whitehorn, a former president of Virgin Galactic, Sir Richard Branson’s space tourism venture.
Its early backers included the British Business Bank, the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus and the European Space Agency.
The investment fund floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2021.
On Tuesday afternoon, shares in Seraphim Space were trading at around 30.17p, giving it a market value of just £72.5m.
A spokeswoman for the company declined to comment.