Burford Capital Limited has raised $175 million (£110 million) to create the world's largest dispute financier.

The Guernsey closed-ended investment company is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market (AIM) following from its initial public offering (IPO) in October 2009.

The company has now announced a placing of approximately $175 million (£110 million), consisting of 100 million Placing Shares at 110 pence per share. A company statement said that the placing will allow Burford Capital to continue its investment programme and solidify its position as a market leader in commercial dispute financing. 

The completion of the placing is subject to shareholder approval and the admission to trading of the shares on AIM, which is expected to take place on or about 10 December 2010.

Christopher Bogart, Chief Executive Officer of Burford Group, said: "We are delighted by the response of both new and existing investors to the placing, which has significantly exceeded our target, and very excited to have created the world's largest dispute financier."

 "I would like to welcome new shareholders in the Company and thank our existing investors for their ongoing support.  We believe this is a continued demonstration that investors recognise the progress of Burford Capital to date, the attractiveness of the market opportunity and the Company's investment strategy going forward."

Burford Group is the investment adviser to the fund which is administered by International Administration (Guernsey) Limited. Guernsey legal advisers are Ogier and the auditors are Ernst & Young in Guernsey.

The company statement added that demand for capital, and the supply of high quality investment opportunities, has enabled capital to be committed at a significantly faster rate than anticipated, so that over $100 million representing 80% of its capital has now been committed to a broad portfolio of litigation matters (over $40 million in the last quarter). 

The Company has consistently advocated a portfolio approach to investing in this asset class and its early successes affirm the investment proposition and business model.

It believes that the investment adviser has built the infrastructure to permit the ongoing deployment of capital rapidly as attractive opportunities present themselves. Capital appears to be scarce in this area, and Burford Capital is often the capital provider of choice in a wide variety of opportunities.  

The investment adviser sees continued strong demand for its capital with an active pipeline of opportunities and continues to pursue the investment objectives, policies and structures that were identified at the time of IPO. The Company believes that the remaining uncommitted proceeds from the IPO and the proceeds of the current placing can together be committed to investments within eighteen months.

For more information about Guernsey's finance industry please visit www.guernseyfinance.com.

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