LONDON, UK: Capital for Colleagues, the investment vehicle focused on opportunities in the Employee Owned Business (EOB) sector, has successfully led an investment of £8.0 million into a substantial investment round by a new portfolio company, Morris Commercial Ltd.
Morris Commercial is a UK-based automotive engineering and manufacturing start-up, focused on innovation and the creation of desirable carbon neutral transport.
Morris Commercial’s initial product, the Morris JE electric van, draws inspiration from the iconic Morris J-Type, arguably one of the most recognisable vans of the 1950s, and combines cutting-edge battery technology and lightweight carbon-fibre construction with classically inspired British design. Most components of the Morris JE are both recycled and recyclable, to further enhance its environmental appeal.
Capital for Colleagues is investing £1.0 million for 1,000,000 A ordinary shares in Morris Commercial, alongside Bill Ainscough, a non-executive Director of the Company, and TJ Morris Limited, a significant shareholder in C4C, both of whom are investing £3.5 million.
The investments will be made in 3 tranches, with an initial investment of 50% of the total, followed by 2 further tranches of 25%, subject to the achievement of certain technical and commercial milestones. The investments are expected to be fully drawn down by 31 December 2023.
Substantial funding and resources have already been invested to bring the Morris JE from a concept to a production prototype, which made its debut in September 2022. The proceeds of this investment round will be used by Morris Commercial for further R&D, engineering validation, certification and productisation.
The funding round will also enable Morris Commercial to recruit further expertise, and to strengthen its partnerships with core suppliers. Morris Commercial expects that deliveries of the Morris JE will commence in early 2024.
As well as leading this investment round, C4C will also be responsible for establishing an Employee Ownership Trust at Morris Commercial. In addition, Alistair Currie will join the board of Morris Commercial as a non-executive Director.
Bill Ainscough is a non-executive Director of Capital for Colleagues and his co-investment alongside the Company is therefore a Related Party Transaction for the purposes of the AQSE Growth Market Apex Rulebook. The Directors of the Company, other than Mr Ainscough, having exercised reasonable care, skill and diligence, consider that the co-investment by Mr Ainscough is fair and reasonable as far as the shareholders of the Company are concerned.
Commenting on the investment in Morris Commercial, Alistair Currie, Chief Executive of Capital for Colleagues, said: “We are delighted to have successfully led this significant investment into Morris Commercial, alongside existing stakeholders in Capital for Colleagues. Our combined investment will enable Morris Commercial to finalise its production planning, as it continues its mission to reinvent the iconic Morris J-Type, using state of the art, zero emission technology and classic design.
We look forward to working with Qu Li and her team as they move towards delivery of the innovative Morris JE.”r Qu Li, Chief Executive Officer of Morris Commercial, commented:
“We are truly grateful that our new investors share our vision and beliefs and their confidence in Morris Commercial confirms the strength of our business model and our sustainability goals. With this new investment, we will be able to accelerate product development and take the Morris JE to market. I am very excited about the future for Morris Commercial and look forward to delivering our iconic van to our many thousands of pre-registered customers around the globe with the support of our new investment partners.”