BGF, the UK’s most active investor, is continuing its expansion in the Midlands having signed a lease to occupy the top floor of Birmingham’s landmark Lewis Building.
The news follows a series of transactions – most recently in global returns management platform ReBOUND – which brings the total amount invested in the Midlands region to £317million.
BGF’s Gurinder Sunner said: “2018 has been an incredibly active year with the team transacting an average of one deal a month and investing £70m in the past ten months alone. Despite the obvious uncertainty surrounding Brexit, it’s encouraging to see that this has not dampened the appetite of businesses to explore and secure funding for their growth strategies.
“Reflecting the increased level of activity, we’ve recruited five staff, opened a dedicated East Midlands office in Nottingham and are delighted to have signed the lease on new, larger premises in the Lewis Building in Birmingham. Our intention is to maintain the momentum of the past few months as we head towards year end.”
BGF has taken a 12,000 sq ft space featuring full-height glazing and access to private external terraces and an internal winter garden.
Tom Williams, Fund Manager, LGIM Real Assets, said: “The refurbishment of the Lewis Building has been very well received by the Birmingham occupational market, with the high-quality finishes and bold reception style resonating strongly with the market and driving a successful leasing strategy.”
In addition to ReBOUND, BGF’s 2018 investments in the Midlands include Purity Brewery Co., online travel management firm Click Travel and collision management technology business CMS. BGF – which this year became the first investor to receive a Queen’s Award for Innovation – also exited its investments in GCI, MPK Garages and Brownhills.
BGF’s Midlands team was established in 2011 to provide investment into growing small and mid-sized businesses and has become a fixture in the Midlands’ business community. Earlier this year, a second Midlands office opened in Nottingham. Collectively, the team in Birmingham, Nottingham and Milton Keynes have backed 37 businesses.
Gurinder continued: “Across the UK, we are continuing to scale-up BGF’s operations. We have now invested in over 240 companies and provided total funding of more than £1.6bn. Our long-term, minority investment model has truly disrupted the funding market.”
During the past eight years, BGF has become the top investor in scaleup companies according to a report published by the Scaleup Institute and Beauhurst. The data also found that scaleup companies using equity investment grow faster than those which do not.