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Milestone Capital launches fund giving access to New Zealand companies

Milestone Capital has launched a fund that enables overseas investors to access the opportunities offered by New Zealand companies.

The Rutherford Innovation Fund will raise capital and back innovative companies which need financial assistance and business skills.
“The Rutherford Innovation Fund provides offshore investors with an experienced local co-investment partner to bridge the geographic gap to New Zealand as these companies are not on the radar of international investors,” Milestone Capital principal Kenji Steven says.

The fund sees the best opportunities for investment as being those that benefit from the changes being driven by the growth of clean tech – products, services and technologies that provide solutions to urgent global problems around energy, water, carbon and pollution. The fund is named after Ernest Rutherford, the Kiwi who was the first person to split the atom and the father of modern nuclear physics.

It is the first managed fund in New Zealand with a focus on clean tech. It is a portfolio of private equity companies which include algae fuel manufacturer Aquaflow Bionomic, carbon sequestration firm Carbonscape and international climate change website Celsias.

“The key limiting factor in New Zealand is capital. For private companies investment capital is scarce so there is attractive pricing and little competition for deals. The capital markets are also under-developed so approximately 80 per cent of the top 200 New Zealand companies are private,” Steven says.

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