Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Forward Partners Group Plc LSE:FWD London Ordinary Share GB00BKPGBB09 ORD GBP0.01
  Price Change % Change Share Price Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  0.00 0.0% 106.00 102.00 110.00 106.00 106.00 106.00 600 07:41:50
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Equity Investment Instruments - - - - 143

Forward Partners Group PLC Portfolio Valuation Increase

01/09/2021 7:00am

UK Regulatory (RNS & others)

Forward Partners (LSE:FWD)
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RNS Number : 3010K

Forward Partners Group PLC

01 September 2021

Forward Partners Group plc

("Forward Partners" or the "Company" or "Group")

Portfolio valuation increase of GBP3.7m following Cazoo SPAC merger

   --    Group's new holding in Ajax I valued at  GBP6.7m 

-- Deal represents an indicative return of 4.1x at an IRR of 42.6% on Company's original Drover investment

   --    Ajax I deal provides indicative boost to Group NAV of GBP3.7m 

Forward Partners, the London-based venture capital firm specialising in supporting high growth, early-stage technology businesses announces a GBP3.7 million portfolio valuation uplift today. The increase is a consequence of online car retailer Cazoo's successful completion of a merger with the special purpose acquisition company Ajax I ("Ajax"), which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the "Merger").

The Company's holding in Cazoo stems from its investment in car rental subscription business Drover. Forward Partners initially partnered in Drover in 2015, providing a total investment of GBP1.6 million over a five-year period. During this time, Drover grew to become one of the UK's leading independent car rental subscription service providers. In December 2020, Drover was acquired by Cazoo, as part of its expansion into the growing 'cars-as-a-service' market, and the Company elected to roll its entire stake into the enlarged business.

Following completion of the Merger, the value of Forward Partners' Cazoo holding increased from GBP3.0 million as at 31 March 2021 to approximately GBP6.7 million, consisting of cash and shares (as described below, based on Ajax's opening share price of $8.72 on 27 August 2021). The Merger represents an indicative return to the Company of 4.1x at an IRR of 42.6% on its original investment in Drover.

Forward Partner's holding in Ajax (now renamed Cazoo Group Limited) consists of 1,042,328 shares (the "Cazoo Shares") with a value of GBP6.6m based on the company's opening share price on 27 August 2021. Of the Company's Cazoo Shares, 90,911 are to be held in escrow alongside approximately GBP91k in cash for a period of 12 months from the date of completion of the Merger. Forward's non-escrow shareholding in Ajax is subject to a lock-up of six months from the date of completion of the Merger.

NOTE: Ajax I share price and GBP:USD exchange rate fixed at NYSE market open 09:30 UTC on 27 August 2021.

Nic Brisbourne, CEO of Forward Partners, said: "We've seen strong deal momentum since listing on AIM in July; and our holding in Cazoo, which came via our original Drover investment, has now reached a key milestone following its successful merger with Ajax.

"This was an unusual transaction route for Forward Partners, but it fundamentally reflects what is possible when one of our promising tech start-ups grows quickly, attracts acquisition interest, and we continue to take a long term view on our capital investment. We stand to make an impressive return on our original investment in Drover and I'd like to congratulate founders Felix, Matt and the whole business on its exciting journey to this point."

The information contained within this announcement is deemed by the Company to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014 as amended by The Market Abuse (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019.

 Nic Brisbourne, Chief Executive 
 Liberum Capital Limited           Tel: +44 20 3100 2222 
  (Nominated Adviser and Broker) 
 Neil Patel 
  Lauren Kettle 
  Edward Phillips 
  Cara Murphy 
 Maitland/AMO (Financial PR)       Tel: +44 (0) 7827 836 246 
                                    Email: forwardpartners@maitland.co.uk 
 Sam Turvey 
  Kate Pledger 

Notes to editors:

Founded in 2013, Forward Partners is an established and respected London-based venture capital firm, specialising in supporting high growth, early-stage technology businesses.

The Group brings together venture capital provider Forward Ventures, equity-free revenue-based financing through Forward Advances and highly specialised growth support from Forward Studio. This model supports founders to build stronger businesses and meet strategic goals faster - ultimately aiming to provide better outcomes for companies and investors alike.

The Group makes equity investments in early-stage, high growth UK companies, and since inception to its admission to London's AIM market in July 2021 had made over 60 unique investments and built a portfolio with an Initial Portfolio NAV in excess of GBP100 million. It holds an eight-year track record of making venture capital investments, and targets underlying NAV growth of 20 per cent. per annum over the cycle.

The management team brings together highly experienced venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and expert consultants. Since 2015, Forward Partners has been backed by BlackRock, one of the largest institutional investors in the world. The Group receives over 4,000 start-up funding applications every year.

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.

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September 01, 2021 02:00 ET (06:00 GMT)

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