IP Group — NAV expected to decline further in H223

IP Group (LSE: IPO)

Last close As at 22/05/2024

GBP0.52

−0.20 (−0.38%)

Market capitalisation

GBP534m

More on this equity

Research: TMT

IP Group — NAV expected to decline further in H223

IP Group has released its year-end update, indicating that its end-2023 NAV per share will be in the range of 111p to 117p. This would represent a NAV total return decline of c 7–12% versus end-June 2023 and 11–16% versus end-2022. Management highlighted that this was driven by a further softening of valuations of early-stage companies in Q423. That said, management indicated that many of IP Group’s leading portfolio companies continued to make strong progress and it expects some major inflection points in 2024. IP Group’s balance sheet remains robust with gross cash and deposits of £227m at end-2023 (vs £250m at end-June 2023). IP Group expects to release its FY23 results on 13 March 2024.

Milosz Papst

Written by

Milosz Papst

Director, Financials

TMT

IP Group

NAV expected to decline further in H223

Investment companies
Listed venture capital

31 January 2024

Price

54.0p

Market cap

£574m

NAV*

£1,314m

NAV per share*

126.7p

Discount to NAV

57.4%

Yield

2.4%

Ordinary shares in issue**

1.06bn

Code/ISIN

IPO/GB00B128J450

Primary exchange

LSE

AIC sector

N/A

Financial year-end

31 December

52-week high/low

67.1p

43.5p

NAV high/low

136.7p

126.7p

Net cash to NAV*

8.5%

*As at end-June 2023

** including treasury shares

Company objective

IP Group helps to create, build and support IP-based companies internationally. The group focuses on companies that meaningfully contribute to regenerative (Kiko), healthier (life sciences) and tech-enriched (deep tech) futures. The group has an international footprint, with investment platforms in Australia, New Zealand, the United States and China, as well as the UK.

Bull points

Provides unique exposure to impactful early-stage businesses based on management’s extensive deal origination network and strong relationships with top universities.

Diverse portfolio across life sciences, deeptech and cleantech, nurtured over 15+ years with several potential catalysts on the horizon.

Trading at a wide discount to NAV.

Bear points

IP Group is yet to build a solid track record of NAV total returns.

Uncertainty around early-stage valuations following the interest rate normalisation and macroeconomic headwinds.

Continued tough macroeconomic conditions may put further pressure on cash runways of portfolio companies.

Analysts

Milosz Papst

+44 (0)20 3077 5700

Dan Ridsdale

+44 (0)20 3077 5700

IP Group is a research client of Edison Investment Research Limited

IP Group has released its year-end update, indicating that its end-2023 NAV per share will be in the range of 111p to 117p. This would represent a NAV total return decline of c 7–12% versus end-June 2023 and 11–16% versus end-2022. Management highlighted that this was driven by a further softening of valuations of early-stage companies in Q423. That said, management indicated that many of IP Group’s leading portfolio companies continued to make strong progress and it expects some major inflection points in 2024. IP Group’s balance sheet remains robust with gross cash and deposits of £227m at end-2023 (vs £250m at end-June 2023). IP Group expects to release its FY23 results on 13 March 2024.

Softer valuations, but potential catalysts intact

Management had indicated in December that one of its top 20 portfolio companies was carrying out a new funding round (which IP Group participated in with a US$15m follow-on investment) at a valuation that would translate into an unrealised fair value gain of £40m (or 4p per share) to IP Group, according to management expectations (deal completion was expected in mid-January 2024). However, this positive effect was more than offset by fair value reductions across the rest of the portfolio. We note that the share price of the listed Oxford Nanopore (which made up 14% of IP Group’s portfolio value at end-June 2023) stood at 208p at end-2023, while the closing price on 30 January 2024 was 152.1p.

Realisation activity across venture capital (VC) markets remains soft, as illustrated by the €2.2bn exits in Europe in Q423 (vs €6.6bn in Q422 and €25.0bn in Q421), according to PitchBook data. A persistent weak market environment may put further pressure on valuations of VC-backed companies as they approach the end of their cash runway and must return to the market for fresh funding. That said, we also note that 73% and 4% of the European VC funding rounds in Q323 (last available PitchBook data) were carried out at higher and stable valuations, respectively, compared to prior funding rounds (81% and 4% in 2022, respectively).

Despite the reduced portfolio valuations as of end-2023, we note that there are several potential catalysts across IP Group’s portfolio on the horizon, including 1) major clinical milestones of several life sciences holdings, 2) continued top-line momentum across the key deeptech holdings and 3) major technological and funding progress across IP Group’s cleantech holdings.

IP Group continues to buy back shares

Given the wide discount to NAV (currently at c 51–54% based on the NAV per share range indicated by the management for end-2023), IP Group launched a buyback programme in December 2023. It allocated up to £20m of its cash realisations, which stood at £38m between January and November 2023. At the last closing price of 54p, this would imply up to 3.5% of IP Group’s total shares in issue. So far, IP Group bought back c 1.6m shares to 30 January 2024 (c 0.1% of total shares in issue) and currently holds c 27.9m shares in treasury (c 2.6% of total shares in issue).

General disclaimer and copyright

This report has been commissioned by IP Group and prepared and issued by Edison, in consideration of a fee payable by IP Group. Edison Investment Research standard fees are £60,000 pa for the production and broad dissemination of a detailed note (Outlook) following by regular (typically quarterly) update notes. Fees are paid upfront in cash without recourse. Edison may seek additional fees for the provision of roadshows and related IR services for the client but does not get remunerated for any investment banking services. We never take payment in stock, options or warrants for any of our services.

Accuracy of content: All information used in the publication of this report has been compiled from publicly available sources that are believed to be reliable, however we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this report and have not sought for this information to be independently verified. Opinions contained in this report represent those of the research department of Edison at the time of publication. Forward-looking information or statements in this report contain information that is based on assumptions, forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable, and therefore involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of their subject matter to be materially different from current expectations.

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Investment in securities mentioned: Edison has a restrictive policy relating to personal dealing and conflicts of interest. Edison Group does not conduct any investment business and, accordingly, does not itself hold any positions in the securities mentioned in this report. However, the respective directors, officers, employees and contractors of Edison may have a position in any or related securities mentioned in this report, subject to Edison's policies on personal dealing and conflicts of interest.

Copyright: Copyright 2024 Edison Investment Research Limited (Edison).

Australia

Edison Investment Research Pty Ltd (Edison AU) is the Australian subsidiary of Edison. Edison AU is a Corporate Authorised Representative (1252501) of Crown Wealth Group Pty Ltd who holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (Number: 494274). This research is issued in Australia by Edison AU and any access to it, is intended only for "wholesale clients" within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 of Australia. Any advice given by Edison AU is general advice only and does not take into account your personal circumstances, needs or objectives. You should, before acting on this advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. If our advice relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular financial product you should read any relevant Product Disclosure Statement or like instrument.

New Zealand

The research in this document is intended for New Zealand resident professional financial advisers or brokers (for use in their roles as financial advisers or brokers) and habitual investors who are “wholesale clients” for the purpose of the Financial Advisers Act 2008 (FAA) (as described in sections 5(c) (1)(a), (b) and (c) of the FAA). This is not a solicitation or inducement to buy, sell, subscribe, or underwrite any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. For the purpose of the FAA, the content of this report is of a general nature, is intended as a source of general information only and is not intended to constitute a recommendation or opinion in relation to acquiring or disposing (including refraining from acquiring or disposing) of securities. The distribution of this document is not a “personalised service” and, to the extent that it contains any financial advice, is intended only as a “class service” provided by Edison within the meaning of the FAA (i.e. without taking into account the particular financial situation or goals of any person). As such, it should not be relied upon in making an investment decision.

United Kingdom

This document is prepared and provided by Edison for information purposes only and should not be construed as an offer or solicitation for investment in any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. A marketing communication under FCA Rules, this document has not been prepared in accordance with the legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.

This Communication is being distributed in the United Kingdom and is directed only at (i) persons having professional experience in matters relating to investments, i.e. investment professionals within the meaning of Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, as amended (the "FPO") (ii) high net-worth companies, unincorporated associations or other bodies within the meaning of Article 49 of the FPO and (iii) persons to whom it is otherwise lawful to distribute it. The investment or investment activity to which this document relates is available only to such persons. It is not intended that this document be distributed or passed on, directly or indirectly, to any other class of persons and in any event and under no circumstances should persons of any other description rely on or act upon the contents of this document.

This Communication is being supplied to you solely for your information and may not be reproduced by, further distributed to or published in whole or in part by, any other person.

United States

Edison relies upon the "publishers' exclusion" from the definition of investment adviser under Section 202(a)(11) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and corresponding state securities laws. This report is a bona fide publication of general and regular circulation offering impersonal investment-related advice, not tailored to a specific investment portfolio or the needs of current and/or prospective subscribers. As such, Edison does not offer or provide personal advice and the research provided is for informational purposes only. No mention of a particular security in this report constitutes a recommendation to buy, sell or hold that or any security, or that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.

London │ New York │ Frankfurt

20 Red Lion Street

London, WC1R 4PS

United Kingdom

London │ New York │ Frankfurt

20 Red Lion Street

London, WC1R 4PS

United Kingdom

General disclaimer and copyright

This report has been commissioned by IP Group and prepared and issued by Edison, in consideration of a fee payable by IP Group. Edison Investment Research standard fees are £60,000 pa for the production and broad dissemination of a detailed note (Outlook) following by regular (typically quarterly) update notes. Fees are paid upfront in cash without recourse. Edison may seek additional fees for the provision of roadshows and related IR services for the client but does not get remunerated for any investment banking services. We never take payment in stock, options or warrants for any of our services.

Accuracy of content: All information used in the publication of this report has been compiled from publicly available sources that are believed to be reliable, however we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this report and have not sought for this information to be independently verified. Opinions contained in this report represent those of the research department of Edison at the time of publication. Forward-looking information or statements in this report contain information that is based on assumptions, forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable, and therefore involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of their subject matter to be materially different from current expectations.

Exclusion of Liability: To the fullest extent allowed by law, Edison shall not be liable for any direct, indirect or consequential losses, loss of profits, damages, costs or expenses incurred or suffered by you arising out or in connection with the access to, use of or reliance on any information contained on this note.

No personalised advice: The information that we provide should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as, personalised advice. Also, the information provided by us should not be construed by any subscriber or prospective subscriber as Edison’s solicitation to effect, or attempt to effect, any transaction in a security. The securities described in the report may not be eligible for sale in all jurisdictions or to certain categories of investors.

Investment in securities mentioned: Edison has a restrictive policy relating to personal dealing and conflicts of interest. Edison Group does not conduct any investment business and, accordingly, does not itself hold any positions in the securities mentioned in this report. However, the respective directors, officers, employees and contractors of Edison may have a position in any or related securities mentioned in this report, subject to Edison's policies on personal dealing and conflicts of interest.

Copyright: Copyright 2024 Edison Investment Research Limited (Edison).

Australia

Edison Investment Research Pty Ltd (Edison AU) is the Australian subsidiary of Edison. Edison AU is a Corporate Authorised Representative (1252501) of Crown Wealth Group Pty Ltd who holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (Number: 494274). This research is issued in Australia by Edison AU and any access to it, is intended only for "wholesale clients" within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 of Australia. Any advice given by Edison AU is general advice only and does not take into account your personal circumstances, needs or objectives. You should, before acting on this advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. If our advice relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular financial product you should read any relevant Product Disclosure Statement or like instrument.

New Zealand

The research in this document is intended for New Zealand resident professional financial advisers or brokers (for use in their roles as financial advisers or brokers) and habitual investors who are “wholesale clients” for the purpose of the Financial Advisers Act 2008 (FAA) (as described in sections 5(c) (1)(a), (b) and (c) of the FAA). This is not a solicitation or inducement to buy, sell, subscribe, or underwrite any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. For the purpose of the FAA, the content of this report is of a general nature, is intended as a source of general information only and is not intended to constitute a recommendation or opinion in relation to acquiring or disposing (including refraining from acquiring or disposing) of securities. The distribution of this document is not a “personalised service” and, to the extent that it contains any financial advice, is intended only as a “class service” provided by Edison within the meaning of the FAA (i.e. without taking into account the particular financial situation or goals of any person). As such, it should not be relied upon in making an investment decision.

United Kingdom

This document is prepared and provided by Edison for information purposes only and should not be construed as an offer or solicitation for investment in any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. A marketing communication under FCA Rules, this document has not been prepared in accordance with the legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.

This Communication is being distributed in the United Kingdom and is directed only at (i) persons having professional experience in matters relating to investments, i.e. investment professionals within the meaning of Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, as amended (the "FPO") (ii) high net-worth companies, unincorporated associations or other bodies within the meaning of Article 49 of the FPO and (iii) persons to whom it is otherwise lawful to distribute it. The investment or investment activity to which this document relates is available only to such persons. It is not intended that this document be distributed or passed on, directly or indirectly, to any other class of persons and in any event and under no circumstances should persons of any other description rely on or act upon the contents of this document.

This Communication is being supplied to you solely for your information and may not be reproduced by, further distributed to or published in whole or in part by, any other person.

United States

Edison relies upon the "publishers' exclusion" from the definition of investment adviser under Section 202(a)(11) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and corresponding state securities laws. This report is a bona fide publication of general and regular circulation offering impersonal investment-related advice, not tailored to a specific investment portfolio or the needs of current and/or prospective subscribers. As such, Edison does not offer or provide personal advice and the research provided is for informational purposes only. No mention of a particular security in this report constitutes a recommendation to buy, sell or hold that or any security, or that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.

London │ New York │ Frankfurt

20 Red Lion Street

London, WC1R 4PS

United Kingdom

London │ New York │ Frankfurt

20 Red Lion Street

London, WC1R 4PS

United Kingdom

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