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Irish state-backed Draper Esprit raises £100M for tech investment

Irish venture capital firm Draper Esprit Plc raised approximately £100 million in a share placement, which it said would be used to take advantage of "increasing innovation and entrepreneurship" in Europe's tech industries.

The Irish State Investment Fund-backed venture said June 2 it had issued 25.91 million new ordinary shares for a conditional placing and 4.95 million new ordinary shares for subscription at an issue price of 324 pence per share.

The Fund owned a 26.7% stake in the firm but this looked set to decline to 21% after it subscribed to just 12% of the new shares, according to The Irish Times. Its support for the new round of fundraising is subject to Draper Esprit investing minimum £50 million in "early- and growth-stage technology companies in Ireland" between 2016 and 2022.

Invesco Asset Management Ltd. has subscribed to 13.58 million shares under the placement and 1.85 million shares pursuant to the subscription agreement, representing 21.5% in total of the of the enlarged share capital, subject to approval from the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority.

The allotment of shares is subject to shareholders' approval during a general meeting of the company scheduled for June 19, the firm said.

Numis Securities and Goodbody acted as joint brokers on the placement.

The shares are expected to be listed by June 20 on the London Stock Exchange Group-run Alternative Investment Market and the Enterprise Securities Market operated by the Irish Stock Exchange.