Fund manager Liontrust has cancelled IPO plans of its ESG investment trust (ESGT), which was scheduled on 5 July, after failing to garner adequate demand from investors.
The firm revealed that it secured ‘significant support’ from private investors for the IPO, which was announced this May.
However, the overall demand failed to reach the minimum investment of £100m, as mentioned in the prospectus.
At the time of the announcement of the closed-ended mandate in May, it was said that ESGT would invest in 25 to 35 sustainable companies globally, mainly in developed markets.
Liontrust CEO John Ions said that around 2,000 individual private investors showed their confidence in the long-term opportunities provided by ESGT as well as the Liontrust Sustainable Investment team’s track record.
Ions noted: “We are disappointed we won’t get the chance to repay their faith through an investment trust after everyone worked so hard to secure its launch.
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“We received significant commitment from investors for ESGT post launch but not enough for the IPO. This reflects the challenging market conditions for fundraising for investment trusts.”
The company will now continue to focus on building the open-ended funds, managed by the Sustainable Investment team.
Led by Peter Michaelis, the sustainable team manages an open-ended range that has grown to £10.24bn at the end of 31 March 2021 from £2.5bn in April 2017.
Michaelis stated: “We will take the ideas we had developed for ESGT and continue to apply them to our open-ended funds for which there is strong demand.”
Notably, last November, Liontrust acquired the Architas UK investment business, adding £5.7bn in assets under management and advice to its books.
The deal involves the acquisition of Architas Multi-Manager Limited and Architas Advisory Services from French insurer Axa.