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18 February 2015

Mercia attracts further universities

Birmingham and Aston universities join four other universities as backers of Mercia Technologies following successful December IPO.

Author: Gregg Bayes-Brown, editor

Mercia Technologies, a UK-based early stage investor and commercialisation firm, has attracted Birmingham and Aston universities as investors.

The two institutions join Leicester, Coventry, Birmingham City, and Staffordshire universities in the firm, which held an IPO on London’s AIM in December last year, raising £70m ($108m). The six universities are also partnered with Mercia, allowing Mercia access to spin-outs and early-stage investment opportunities. Other partners, but not investors, include Warwick, Keele, and Wolverhampton universities.

Mercia was set up pre-IPO as the parent company of Mercia Fund Management (MFM), an investor with an emphasis on the Midlands region of the UK which last December had £22m under management and £16m invested into businesses. With MFM and its portfolio as 38 businesses as a wholly owned subsidiary, Mercia has expanded its reach to include company formation, technology transfer, incubation, and further investment.

Mark Payton, Chief Executive of Mercia Technologies, said: “It is pleasing to note that six of our university partners are now Mercia shareholders, a strong sign of their belief in our investment proposition.”

James Wilkie, CEO of Birmingham TTO Alta Innovations, said: "The University of Birmingham was one of the founding members of the original Mercia investment fund in 2007 and taking a shareholding in Mercia Technologies PLC continues our deep relationship with one of the UK's leading early stage fund management teams."

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