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THE FUTURE FUND – GOVERNMENT HELP FOR EARLY STAGE COMPANIES

A new scheme has been announced by the Government which will see them issue convertible loans to innovative companies who are facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are not eligible for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

The Future Fund (“the Scheme”) will be a loan, provided by the Government, of between £125,000 and £5,000,000 to an eligible company.

What is an eligible company?
The key criteria are that the company:
– must be an unlisted company;
– must have raised at least £250,000 in aggregate from private third-party investors in the previous five years; and
– must have a substantive economic presence in the UK (this is not yet defined).

The loan carries interest at a minimum rate of 8% per annum. It will be for a maximum term of 36 months; if the company is unable to repay the loan, the Government can convert the loan into equity in the company.

The loan must be matched by investment from a private third-party investor.

When will it become available and how can companies access it?
The scheme will not be live until May 2020.  The exact date and method of applying is yet to be announced.

Comment
The Scheme has only recently been announced.  More information will be provided by the Government in the coming days and weeks, so it is likely that some of the key terms will be further explained and refined.  This could be a lifeline to a business that does not qualify for the other Loan Schemes and can meet the criteria. These are likely to be companies that have not yet made a profit but are thought to have a bright future.

Please get in touch if you would like advice and assistance in relation to this Scheme.

This update is for general purposes and guidance only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. You should seek legal advice before relying on its content. This update relates to the prevailing circumstances at the date of its original publication and may not have been updated to reflect subsequent developments. If you have general queries about our updates, please email: mailinglists@greenwoods.co.uk




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