Business Growth Fund reaches £1bn milestone

The £2.5bn private equity fund has backed more than 155 small and medium companies across the UK since its launch in October 2011...

The Business Growth Fund (BGF) has announced that it has now invested over £1bn in more than 155 small and mid-sized companies across the UK since its launch in October 2011.

Over the last five years, the independent fund – which is backed by the ‘Big Five’ banks – has invested in a number of fast-growing companies including Unruly Media, Gymbox, and Dragons’ Den success story Trunki.

More than £700m of the BGF’s £1bn milestone has been invested outside of London and the South East – £186m has gone to businesses in the Midlands, £150m to the South West, £215m to companies in the North, and £127m in Scotland.

According to research company Beauhurst, the BGF was the top institutional investor in the three months following the EU Referendum result by number of deals completed, against a backdrop of an overall slowdown in investment activity.

Established in 2011, the £2.5bn BGF makes long-term equity investments – usually of between £2m to £10m – in small to medium businesses with typical revenues of between £5m to £100m.

Speaking to Growing Business last year, BGF regional director Marion Bernard told us that the fund looked to invest in companies that have a track record of success, realistic growth plans, and an open approach to BGF’s partnership model. On the flip side, companies that are too over-optimistic and show an unwillingness to listen to investor opinions were cited as no-no’s for the fund.

BGF CEO, Stephen Welton, added: “BGF has established itself as the leading provider of long-term capital in the UK.

“While growing businesses will be affected in different ways and to varying degrees during the Brexit negotiations and beyond, our long-term approach means that we have no intention of slowing down our new activity or support for the companies we back. Next year is set to be an even bigger one for BGF and I am as excited now as I was in 2011 about the future of BGF, the businesses we support and the UK’s entrepreneurial climate.”

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