Schroder British Opportunities Trust Plc

0.00 (0.0%)
Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Schroder British Opportunities Trust Plc LSE:SBO London Ordinary Share GB00BN7JZR28 ORD 1P
  Price Change % Change Share Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  0.00 0.0% 69.00 0.00 08:00:04
Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price
67.00 71.00 69.25 69.00 69.25
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Trust,ex Ed,religious,charty -1.64 -3.22 -4.30 - 51.75
Last Trade Time Trade Type Trade Size Trade Price Currency
- O 0 69.00 GBX

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Date Time Title Posts
11/4/202308:22Schroder British Opportunities Trust plc130
05/2/202111:38Free speech permitted. Trolling not welcome4
27/11/202007:32Schroder British Opportunities Trust-

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Posted at 11/4/2023 08:22 by cc2014
Thanks for #127

So, everything has it's price but what I conclude is that there is no way for me to work out what the NAV really is and therefore how am I supposed to take a punt

I guess what I can also work out is that there's a crazy amount of tech investment out there relying on follow-on funding which just isn't going to happen

Posted at 11/4/2023 07:09 by spectoacc
Everything has its price @Jonwig, tho that's the best I can say :) Schroders, strewth. Can't think of anyone less deserving of their fees.
Posted at 09/4/2023 17:18 by spectoacc

Front page of Sunday Times Business:

"Blow to British tech unicorn as backer writes off stake".

"The heavyweight investor that backed Apple and Google in their early years has written off the entire value of its stake in one of Britain's most promising technology start-ups".

Keep reading and you find out that zero is Graphcore..

There's some real nuggets:

"Graphcore ended 2021 with $140m of cash, and a further $187m in short-term investments. However, it lost $185m that year on revenues of only $5m...."

SBO holders, this is the sort of sh*t Roger, Ben, and Tim have been punting your money into. Graphcore topped out at a £3.4bn valuation, on $5m of revenues, and Sequoia Capital now value it at zero. Nada. Nothing.

"BG's Schiehallion fund has cut its valuation of Graphcore from $3.4bn to $1.7bn and SBO has cut its valuation [of Graphcore] by 25% in its latest revaluation."

Most incubators, VCs, PEs are chicken sh*t. They invest at increasingly crazy valuations, boosting their previous investment valuation in the same co's, until it all comes crashing down (assuming they haven't punted investments to each other first). Yet when it does start to fail, it's finger-in-air bullsh*t. BG think Graphcore's fallen from $3.4bn to - gasp - $1.7bn, exactly halved, implying no genuine calculation whatsoever. Sequoia can see that $185m losses on $5m revenues in 2021 means all the money's gone by, um, about now, so Graphcore will need to raise ASAP. But from whom? Not Sequoia. Not poxy, tiny SBO. Not BG, who went all-in on unlisteds in the boom.

Not from SVB bank borrowings.

SBO cut the valuation by 25%, BG by 50%, Sequoia by 100% - who's right? No prizes for guessing who I think is right, but clearly if more cash (then some more, and some more) is needed, billions isn't a correct valuation.

Doesn't this apply to most of the investments in early-stage but later-round rubbish? The bubble is over, the winners will be the few with profits (any?), and the few with cash to pull investments through the post-SVB, post-bubble world. The same happened in 99/00, most went to zero.

At least the lamentable SUPP has been through it (some of it!) already, hence 12p from £1 listing, 8 years ago now. How long is "Patient"?

Rant over. Link to SBO's Graphcore RNS, when they invested at a $2.8bn valuation:

Just a week ago, threat to move to US, begging letter to Rishi to use some of their chips - Sequoia's write-down post-dates this:

Posted at 24/2/2023 07:58 by jonwig
Schroder British Opportunities Trust plc ("SBO" or the "Company") is pleased to confirm that one of its private equity investments, Mintec, the leading global provider of price data, analytics and forecasts for agri-food, has announced the acquisition of AgriBriefing, to establish the largest agri-food-focused price reporting agency (PRA) and global information provider.

Good news, I guess, but what we really want is SBO's private investments to be taken out at a huge premium!

Posted at 03/2/2023 07:23 by jonwig
Research note, "SBO is trading on a wide discount despite its highly differentiated approach…":

Company-sponsored, of course, and they are clearly worried about the discount. The unquoteds need a bit of M&A activity to stir things up. NAV around 105p so nearly 40% discount.

Posted at 07/12/2022 07:52 by jonwig

They insist their PE portfolio has held its value as opposed to quoted ones. hence the NAV has only fallen by 3.4% whilst the discount has widenedsubstantially.

If they're right, (and reputational damage to Schroders would be significant) these are good value, given some unquoteds are close to IPO stage when markets imp[rove. But one dud seems to be Graphcore. (AI hardware is tough!)

Posted at 04/8/2022 10:12 by spectoacc
Thanks @Jonwig, having a quick look at it.

@CC2014 - agreed, everything has its price. I'd question when SBO would ever give any returns beyond "Greater Fool" tho. They're tiny, yet they talk as if they're big guns.

"Your Board is disappointed by market conditions reducing
shareholder return over the period"

[What, it wasn't the stock picks?]

"...Your Board
is pleased with the diversified portfolio the Portfolio
Managers have constructed since IPO across a broad range
of leading UK businesses, both listed and privately owned,"

"Equity valuations are seemingly disconnected from fair value
in many sectors and market sentiment is driving pricing
rather than fundamentals"

[No - it's the bursting of the ZIRP bubble, where the sort of no-profit, minimal t/o, capital-hungry Unicorns come a serious cropper.]

"...We utilised the authorities provided by
shareholders to purchase 100,000 shares to be held in
treasury to reissue when the Company regains its premium
rating to NAV"


"...Will target companies with
an equity value between approximately £50 million and
£2 billion at the time of initial investment"

[SBO itself has a market cap of £56m - it'll never hold any meaningful stake or have any meaningful influence on any of its "30-50" holdings.]

Might it dcb? Could do. But I'd note:

"In a challenging environment, the private equity holdings
have continued to perform strongly and the overall resilience
of the private holdings has been particularly pleasing. The
Company’s unquoted holdings saw an increase in value of
32.4%, offsetting 8.2% of the full year decrease in NAV"

So for end-March, before the bubble burst, they uplifted their unquoted valuations by 32.4%. It's possible they've picked some future Amazons & Googles, but I'd wager not.

Edit - sorry for length - this jumped out:

"We are delighted to have completed these three new private
equity investments in strong, UK-based, market leaders. We
had been tracking these businesses for an extended period
of time through our long-term relationships with private
equity firms Synova, Bowmark and Vitruvian, and
supplemented these efforts with enhanced due diligence
made possible by the close working relationship between
our public and private equity teams, which provided the
widest possible lens for assessment of our new investee
companies. We expect these businesses to be resilient to the
ongoing macroeconomic and market trends and are excited
to be part of the next phase of their growth story.

As at 8 July 2022 the Company holds a cash balance of
£2.5m. "

They really do talk the talk. What they've invested in isn't necessarily bad - it's the valuations they've gone in at that I'd question.

£2.5m cash.

Posted at 04/8/2022 09:41 by cc2014
Here's my view for what it's worth.

I don't rate the fund managers but there comes a point when the discount to NAV may be sufficient to overcome my concerns, so I've spent as little as 15 minutes looking at this.

I find it incomprehensible that given the large sell-off since Christmas that the fund manager has somehow managed to pick a great set of unquoted holdings when they can't demonstrate they can do that with the quoted ones.

The holdings are difficult to get a grasp of without spending considerable time and effort and it seems likely they should have already been written down. Of course they are illiquid and the fund manager can avoid this but that just intensifies my concerns.

So, I'll call the real NAV somewhere between 85-90p. That still leaves the share price at a decent discount but not an amazing one certainly compared with some of the other PE.

The next issue for me is that the opportunity cost of investing in a similar risky asset might be a 7% return. Certinly I can get that on any of the high yield bond funds or some of the renewable funds and they seem far less risky to me. I don't particuarly like the property REIT sector at the moment but again 7% is do-able and the risks might be seen as equivalent or lower.

So, I'm a little unenthusiastic mostly because I can't see the fund manager making a much better return than what I can get elsewhere, or even if it is there which I doubt the fund doesn't make me interested enough to devote a couple of hours of my time to investigating it further.

I'll keep it on my watchlist though. Every man has his price.

Posted at 04/8/2022 09:05 by spectoacc
"The Company's private assets are currently held at their 31 March 2022 valuations"

Notwithstanding a couple of up-rounds, there must be serious downside risk to the NAV, which would take a couple of quarters to feed through.

Never thought I'd say it but - SBO makes SUPP look cheap (20p share price vs 36p "N"AV, a large chunk of it in the listed ONT).

Seen no evidence that Tim/Ben/Roger have any stock-picking ability whatsoever.

Posted at 04/8/2022 08:30 by jonwig
Today's additional invetsment (Cera Care) estimates an updated NAV will be +2.8p. That would be a discount of 28%, which is high even for a PE investor, and SBO isn't a pure PE investor.

The annual report suggests they may up their buybacks. You can now buy under mid-price (quote 74-76).

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