The £631 million Billie Gifford European Growth trust is proposing an increase in exposure to unlisted stocks to 20% of its portfolio at its annual general meeting.
Currently, the portfolio holds three unlisted companies which account for 4.5% of total assets, compared to 0.9% in 2020. It includes Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt, German transport services company FlixMobility, and German digital freight-forwarder sennder Technologies.
As of September 30, 2021, Baillie Gifford had approximately £5.6 billion invested in 73 private companies, nine of these being European.
In a statement, the company said: “The investments undertaken and the reputation Baillie Gifford is establishing as a private company investor is providing an increasing quantum of introductions with entrepreneurs.
"This in turn is increasing the number and quality of potential investment opportunities into private companies which are able to demonstrate their ability to scale at an attractive rate."
According to Baillie Gifford’s European Growth Trust plc results for the year to 30 September 2021, the investments are part of the trust’s move towards establishing as a private company investor that provides an increasing number of introductions with entrepreneurs.
At the firm’s Annual General Meeting on February 3, 2022 the trust will ask shareholders to increase the investment in unlisted investments from the current 10% to a proposed 20% of total assets.
The Baillie Gifford European Trust isn’t the first to propose an increase to unlisted assets. Both Baillie Gifford UK Growth trust and Fidelity China Special Situations have said they will be increasing their exposure.
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