Forget the Dragons, Now Meet the Foxes

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Enterprises To Compete For Access to £Millions In Funding

Companies in the Isle of Man and around the UK are invited to enter the Foxes' Lair to compete for funding from the UK's leading sources of investment, it was announced today. The competition, loosely based on the BBC's Dragon's Den, will see up to two dozen finalists vying to find funding for their businesses.

"The Dragons are famous for offering up around a £100,000 to budding entrepreneurs, but we're upping the ante; we're ready to introduce some serious money into some serious enterprises," said Fox Capital Director Justin Martin. "Our focus is on expansion stage companies that are looking for up to £25 million in funding to take their businesses to the next level."

The Fox's Lair is open to privately-held companies of any size; profitability is not necessarily a requirement. Roy Tilleard, Director at Fox Capital explained; "Companies that have strong turnover growth and a healthy margin, but may lack the resources necessary to fully capitalise on market opportunities, are ideal candidates for the Fox's Lair."

Mr Alex Downie, Minister for Trade & Industry on the Isle of Man, noted "The Isle of Man has shown itself to be a land of possibility, as proven by our economic growth of over seven percent a year over the last twenty years in a wide range of sectors, well over double the average of the developed world. Therefore I am delighted that several of our successful entrepreneurs have established 'Fox's Lair', which will give a new generation of talent an opportunity to reach their potential and to help the Isle of Man continue to flourish for many years to come."

As far as business and finance expertise goes, the Foxes have few equals. Justin Martin has spent the last 15 years in finance and business and product development, managing numerous businesses in the Isle of Man, the United Kingdom and the Russian Federation. He co-founded Flintstone Technologies plc, the AIM listed start-up and expansion stage investment company which completed more than 25 separate private equity transactions with a combined value of more than £40 million.

Roy Tilleard, a qualified accountant, has held executive roles in both multi-national and private businesses. He's best known for leading the international expansion of the Deb Group, known for its Swarfega brand which he part-sold to Barclays Private Equity in a £135 million transaction. He is also a Director of Callows Yard Developments Ltd, an £11 million commercial property development in Castletown, Isle of Man.

Together they form Fox Capital, a firm that is a recognised expert in corporate fund raising. It provides services in equity and equity-linked fund raising, flotation, mergers and acquisitions, debt arrangements, in addition to other advisory services. The pair have forged close working relationships with the UK's leading private equity investors and commercial debt providers alongside a number of the UK's leading AIM advisory firms that can be quickly brought to bear for winners in the Fox's Lair.

"Our model for success is built upon the strong relationships we forge with the people we work with," said Justin Martin. "In addition to finance, we provide proactive, practical help across all facets of a company from marketing to operations to distribution, wherever our support is needed."

Applications for entry to the Fox's Lair are being accepted now. Finalists will be asked to make a short presentation to a panel of judges on 27 November at The Nunnery, home of the International Business School in Douglas, Isle of Man.

"We want to foster an environment for businesses to flourish in the Isle of Man," explained Roy Tilleard. "By opening up our expertise in this creative way, our aim is not only to attract successful businesses to the island but also to create a new confidence among all business owners so that they may grow to be international successes."

Applications and guidelines for the Fox's Lair can be downloaded at or contact, (+44 (0)1624 628 994) to have an application sent in the post. The deadline for entry is 13 November 2006. The judges' decisions will be final; no correspondence will be entered into.

Notes to editors:

Isle of Man-based Fox Capital Limited provides a range of corporate finance services including equity and equity-linked fund raising, flotation, mergers and acquisitions debt arrangements and other advisory services. Since 2002 the company has built its business on forging strong relationships and effectively bridging the gap between investors and entrepreneurs.


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Sherrilynne Starkie
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