£100m Welsh Life Sciences Fund manager announced

A tender to run the £100m Welsh Life Sciences Fund has been won by new company Arthurian Life Sciences.

Documents lodged with Companies House show that the initial share capital in the business – registered last June – is held by Excalibur Fund Managers, which is chaired by biotechnology serial entrepreneur and investor Sir Chris Evans.

A director in Arthurian is Martin Walton who is chief executive of Excalibur Fund Managers.

However, it is understood that Arthurian will include a range of external experts.

The EU tendering process, which was managed by the Welsh Government’s investment bank subsidiary Finance Wales, attracted two bidders.

The fund is being backed with £50m from the Welsh Government, with £25m committed at its first close.

The performance of the fund will be subject to an independent evaluation at the end of year three – by which time the fund managers are expected to have been sourced at least a further £50m.

The purpose of the fund includes increasing the ability of life sciences firm in Wales to access equity finance, as well as attracting life sciences businesses into Wales.

A spokesman for the Welsh Government said: “A preferred bidder has been selected and the contract is being established. We are hoping to make a detailed announcement shortly.”

It is expected that the Welsh Government will also soon confirm investment into and the location of a life sciences hub, where the fund managers will be located.

Read more: Wales Online