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BGF achieves record year for exits; continues to power the growth economy in 2022
BGF achieved a record year for realisations in 2022, having exited 40 companies, with total investment returns of over £675 million, a combined money multiple of 2x and an IRR of 22.5%.
In another strong year of strong performance, BGF also invested £443 million, continuing its commitment to providing patient minority-only capital to help more ambitious growth companies achieve their full potential.
Its realisations included the standout exit from St Pierre Groupe, an international market leader in the bakery sector acquired by multinational bakery business Grupo Bimbo. The exit generated a money multiple of 9.6x and an IRR of 85%.
Across all regional economies, 45 new deals were completed in the UK via BGF’s growth, early stage and quoted investment teams. Notable investments included sustainable home energy business, Tepeo in Surrey, ground-breaking life sciences business, Enhanc3D Genomics in Cambridge; digital apprenticeships provider Apprentify in Manchester, data science consultancy Optima Partners in Edinburgh and online education platform BBC Maestro in London.
2022 also saw the appointment of Andy Gregory as BGF’s Chief Executive Officer. Andy has been with BGF since 2011, initially joining as a regional director for the North of England before being promoted to Chief Investment Officer. Stephen Welton, formerly Executive Chair of BGF, took up the role of Non-Executive Chair on 1 January 2023.
BGF continued to demonstrate its firm commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion in 2022, backing Cornerstone VC, a new £20 million fund investing in entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds in the UK. Cornerstone VC is born out of black-led angel group Cornerstone Partners.
BGF was also named the most active investor in women-led businesses by the ScaleUp Institute for the third year running, having invested over £400 million in companies with at least one female founder since BGF’s inception.
Over the last 12 months, BGF welcomed 29 new hires across the whole business, 76% of which are female and/or from a Black, Asian, minority ethnic background.14 of these hires were in its investment team with over two thirds female and/or from a minority ethnic background. 27% of NXC appointments on the board of portfolio companies were female.
The firm enjoyed fundraising success in 2022 through the UK Enterprise Fund II (UKEF II), in association with Coutts, the private banking arm of NatWest Group. UKEF II, which now totals £80 million raised, builds on the success of its predecessor fund, and will provide funding to address equity gaps across the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The year was rounded off by the launch of the BGF Foundation, with a commitment of £1.5 million from BGF and the portfolio over the next three years. BGF will provide funding and practical support to help small and mid-sized charities, focused on alleviating social disadvantage, to scale up their impact across the UK.
2022 has been another pivotal year of success for BGF. We continue to invest across multiple sectors across all of the UK and Ireland, whilst increasing our activity in the critically important areas of clean tech and life sciences. Building on our success in 2021, we have continued to work closely with founders to help them realise their goals and generate strong returns for all shareholders, culminating in a record year for exit activity.
Andy Gregory, Chief Executive Officer at BGF
“Looking ahead, economic recovery in the UK will require a healthy and diversified business base that champions high-potential growth businesses across all regions. We’re proud to have a model that, at its heart, directly supports this.”
“I’m excited to embark on a new year as CEO of BGF and look forward to working closely with my colleagues as we build on our success to date. I’d like to thank Stephen Welton, who has now assumed the role of Non-executive Chair, for his continued support and enthusiasm for BGF.”
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