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During the quarter the standout positive performer was Clinigen Group, with a 45%** return. This was because they have agreed to be taken over by UK-based private equity firm Triton Investment Management in a deal that values the pharmaceutical services company at around £1.2billion. Triton has offered 883p a share in cash, with shareholders also eligible to receive a previously declared final dividend of 5.46p per Clinigen share.

Fevertree Drinks was the next best performer in the AIM portfolio during the quarter, delivering a total return of 16%**. The company has seen several upgrades from Investment Banks. Barclays are particularly positive on the company as they see high growth prospects coming out of the US and an increase in consumers’ desire to ‘drink less but drink better’.

It wasn’t all good news in the period, both Volex Group and ASOS shares were lower by 20%**. Volex, the electronic connector manufacturing company, has been on one hell of a run since Covid started with the share price moving from 90p to close to £5 in 18 months. The correction has brought the share price back to £3.30. After such a rise a pullback looks relatively healthy, and critically, the company continues to deliver on high revenue growth because of such strong demand and we are happy to ride out the short term volatility.

ASOS, the online fashion retailer, continues to be plagued with concerns relating to supply chain challenges.  They also

announced a number of key management and board changes, with both the CEO and Chairman stepping down during the period which only added to uncertainty. After benefiting from more than 18 months of the COVID-19-related tailwind, consumer behaviour has started to normalise, which, along with global shipping disruptions, has dragged down the growth pace in the last quarter of 2021.

In summary, overall it was another strong quarter for the AIM portfolio with the good news outweighing the bad to deliver a return in excess of the FTSE AIM All Share. Please remember that the AIM portfolio has been created to invest in companies that qualify for Business Property Relief (BPR) and in doing so are therefore outside of the estate for Inheritance Tax Purposes (IHT)***.  Whilst delivering strong performance is obviously welcome – we are looking to mitigate share price weakness that negates the reason for investing in AIM (saving 40% IHT).

* Source: MorningStar Direct

** Source: Alpha Terminal

*** based on current tax legislation and holding the assets for a minimum qualification period

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