Illuminator Turns Off Light on Dotcoms

LONDON — Illuminator, which was formed in 1999 to nurture Internet start-ups, recently turned to picking over the remains of ailing dotcoms.

When Illuminator launched its TechRescue Fund last week, it said the aim of it was to “take advantage of the current market anomalies and negative investor sentiment towards the Internet and Technology sectors, which Illuminator believes will lead to attractive investment opportunities.” One week on and the opportunities don’t look as pretty.

The fund, set up by corporate raiders Julian Treger and Brian Myerson, has written off #270,000 of investments — a light slap considering the temper of the Internet investment market at the moment.

This leaves Illuminator with around #9m left in the bank and some #10.6m of investments in ventures such as Clear Technology, Trademet Limited and investment fund Puma II, following the recent report that it recorded a #15m operating loss.

But the fund goes on, TechRescue hopes to raise between #50m and #100m and will announce its first closing at #25m. AIM-listed Illuminator has invested #5m in the fund, which is sponsored by Shore Capital and will have an initial life of seven years.

The fund will invest in listed and unlisted internet and technology companies, primarily in distressed and turnaround situations, based mainly in the UK and Europe.

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