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Schroder British Opportunities Trust plc

Investing in the future of British business

Invest in high-quality growth companies with sustainable business models at attractive valuations.

A proactive public and private equity investment strategy which can provide access to strong long-term total returns through participation in exciting capital raising opportunities.

Seeking to invest ‘fresh’ equity into small to mid-sized British businesses, facilitating and driving growth through the pandemic and beyond.

Prospectus

as of 10 November 2020

The Portfolio Manager

Investors in the Company are expected to benefit from the expertise and experience of the portfolio management teams  across public and private equity as well as from other teams within Schroders.

Rory Bateman

Head of Equities

Rory Bateman is Head of Equities at Schroders. The equity division manages £162 billion (as at 30 June 2020) globally across multiple strategies. Rory has been an equity investor for 20 years. He joined Schroders in 2008 and is based in London.

Rory was the Head of UK/European Equities team at Schroders from 2015 to 2019, which managed over €55 billion across multiple strategies.

Rory was a European Equity Fund Manager and Analyst at Schroders from 2008 to 2015, which involved managing numerous European equity portfolios and being a member of the analyst team.

Rory was a Research Analyst and Continental European Portfolio Manager at Goldman Sachs Asset Management from 1996 to 2008, which involved portfolio management and analytical responsibilities.

Rory holds a MPhil in Economics from University of Cambridge and a BA (Hons) in Financial Economics from Guildhall University.

Tim Creed

Head of UK and European Private Equity

Tim Creed is a member of Schroder Adveq's management committee and a member of the Private Equity Investment Committee. He is also on the advisory boards of several leading European buyout and turnaround fund managers.

Prior to joining Schroder Adveq in 2004, Tim Creed worked as a Project Manager at Aon in London, UK, having previously spent five years at Accenture in Strategy Consulting and Operations Consulting, where he worked mostly with financial services companies across Europe. Tim Creed started his career as a Research Chemist at Astra Zeneca, also in the UK. From 2002 to 2007, Tim Creed held a part time position as an Executive Public member of Network Rail in the UK.   

Tim Creed holds a bachelor's degree in Chemistry from the University of Edinburgh, where he graduated with first class honours and an MBA from Oxford University, UK, where he was the Clifford H. Barclay Scholar.  

In December 2019, Tim Creed was selected as one of “50 Most Influential People in European Private Equity” by Financial News / Private Equity News.

The key risks that are specific to the Company

  • The Company’s strategy is to invest, initially, in companies impacted by the Covid-19 crisis in the approximately £50 million to £2 billion equity value range. These companies may not have the financial strength, diversity and resources which larger companies may have and there may be a higher risk that these companies will find it more difficult to operate during the Covid-19 crisis, as well as in periods of economic slowdown and recession. The risk of bankruptcy of such companies is also generally higher. Therefore, investment in such companies could be riskier than investments in larger companies and the deterioration in the financial condition or bankruptcy of such companies may result in greater volatility in the Company’s net asset value (“NAV”) and may materially and adversely affect the performance of the Company and returns to Shareholders.
  • The long-term impacts of Covid-19 are unknown, rapidly-evolving and may be materially more severe and/or more permanent than anticipated. It is difficult to accurately predict the effects these factors may have on the investee companies within the Company’s portfolio and on the Company. The Company may invest in investee companies which do not meet the target returns anticipated by the Portfolio Managers (being Schroder Investment Management Limited and Schroder Adveq Management AG (the “Portfolio Managers”)) due to the Portfolio Managers underestimating or failing to accurately predict or foresee the time scale, severity and/or impacts of the Covid-19 crisis, which could result in a material adverse impact on the performance of the Company, the NAV and the returns to Shareholders.
  • Private equity investments are difficult to value. Information from underlying investee companies may be delayed, missing or restricted which would lead to valuations being made on incomplete information.
  • It is difficult to accurately time the exit of private equity investments. Exits will take time and the Portfolio Managers may have very little influence on any decisions around the timing on exits.  Realisations of private equity investments may not occur on a regular straight line basis. Should an exit of a private equity investment be effected in such manner or time frame which is not compatible with the Company’s investment horizon, this could result in a material adverse impact on the Company’s NAV and on the return to Shareholders. 
  • There may not necessarily be a liquid market for shares in investee companies in the approximately £50 million to £2 billion equity value range even if their shares are publicly traded.
  • The AIFM, the Portfolio Managers and their affiliates will provide services to other clients, which could compete directly or indirectly with the activities of the Company and may be subject to conflicts of interest in respect of their activities on behalf of the Company.
  • The Company may not meet its investment objective and returns of the Company are not guaranteed.
  • The Company has a fixed life and in the event that no alternative proposals are put forward to Shareholders and approved by Shareholders ahead of the winding-up date, a winding-up resolution will be proposed at the winding-up date to voluntarily liquidate the Company. This could mean that certain investments, in particular, private equity investments, may not be able to be realised at an optimal price, or that the realisation of such investments may take longer than anticipated (as it could take several years after the commencement of the winding-up of the Company until all of the Company’s private equity investments could be disposed of and any final distribution of proceeds made to Shareholders).
  • The Company has no employees and the Directors have all been appointed on a non-executive basis.  Therefore, the Company is reliant upon the performance of third party service providers for its executive function. Failure by any of these or any other service provider to carry out its obligations to the Company in accordance with the terms of its appointment, together with a failure by the Company to enforce such terms, could have a materially detrimental impact on the operation of the Company.
  • Failure by the Company to maintain investment trust status, or changes in taxation legislation or practice, could result in the Company not being able to benefit from the current exemption for investment trusts from UK tax on chargeable gains and could affect the Company's ability to provide returns to Shareholders.
  • Changes in tax legislation or practices or laws or regulations governing the Company's operations (in particular, the Listing Rules, the Prospectus Regulation, the Prospectus Regulation Rules, the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules, the Market Abuse Regulation, the AIFMD and the PRIIPs Regulation) may adversely affect the Company's business.

Key risks specific to the securities:

  • The Company has a total return strategy and therefore may not pay dividends to Shareholders.
  • The value of the Shares can fluctuate and may go down as well as up and an investor may not get back the amount invested. The market price of the Shares, like shares in all investment trusts, may fluctuate independently of their underlying Net Asset Value and may trade at a discount or premium at different times, depending on factors such as supply and demand for the Shares, market conditions and general investor sentiment.
  • There can be no guarantee that a liquid market in the Shares will exist. Accordingly, Shareholders may be unable to realise their Shares at the quoted market price or at all.
  • The Company may issue new equity in the future pursuant to the Placing Programme or otherwise. Where statutory pre-emption rights are disapplied, any additional equity financing will be dilutive to those Shareholders who cannot, or choose not to, participate in such financing

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