22/06/2007

Enfis flotation seals successful exit for Finance Wales

Finance Wales has successfully exited from its investment in Swansea-based Enfis Group Plc. The Wales-based provider of commercial funding to Welsh SME’s has sold its entire shareholding in the AIM listed company after two funding rounds totalling £600,000.


Enfis, a spin-out from Swansea University, has grown into one of the leading developers and suppliers of intelligent high-power light emitting diode (LED) arrays and ‘smart light engines’ with extensive Intellectual Property (IP). The company has announced several significant deals in the past few months which have helped reinforce its position within the global LED market, the latest being a contract with a French medical devices company to supply smart LED light engines for use in phototherapy medical devices.

Enfis had received initial equity funding from the Wesley Clover Corporation, chaired by Sir Terry Matthews and in 2004 Finance Wales made its first round of funding. Alongside Wesley Clover, two further rounds of investment were made in 2005 and 2006 before the company floated successfully on AIM in March this year. The exit has provided a 1.5x return on Finance Wales’ investment. Successful investment returns allow Finance Wales to re-invest into even more high growth SMEs in Wales.

Peter Wright, Investment Director at Finance Wales, said: “Our investment in Enfis has helped the company develop its technology to the extent that it now has extensive IP and a strong foothold within the global market. “The company has been successfully listed on AIM and it is now appropriate for Finance Wales to exit from the investment. This is in line with our standard investment policy, having helped the company fulfil its strong IP and global growth potential.”

Shaun Oxenham, Chief Executive Officer of Enfis, said the investment from Finance Wales was an important factor in its growth. “Since our successful flotation on AIM in March we have clinched several new distribution agreements which have endorsed our lead within the industry. Finance Wales’ investment helped us achieve this and provided the company with a foundation for growth.”

The deal marks the latest in several successful exits for Finance Wales. In March the company made a successful equity realisation from the sale of South Wales-based procurement software specialist firm Alito. The company was bought by Proactis in a deal worth up to £3.25million. Finance Wales had invested £400,000 into the company in 2005.

In January, Finance Wales completed a successful exit from West Wales active sports brand howies following two rounds of equity investment totalling £600,000. The company was bought by US footwear and apparel giant, Timberland.