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BGF celebrates record year in Wales, investing over £26m and completing valuable exit

BGF News 01.17.2022
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BGF, the UK and Ireland’s most active investor, is celebrating a record year of investment activity in Wales after investing over £26 million and completing a successful exit of a Welsh BGF-backed business.

The strong performance in Wales comes off the back of a record year across the UK and Ireland, which has seen BGF complete 67 new deals and invest £600 million in total over the course of 2021.

BGF is a long-term investor, making initial investments between £1 million to £15 million for a minority equity stake. It backs ambitious teams across a range of sectors and funds a variety of growth plans.

The last 12 months have seen a number of high-profile deals completed by BGF’s Cardiff-based team, including a £14 million investment in South Wales based manufacturing business, Victorian Sliders – BGF’s largest ever deal in the Welsh market.

The significant investment from BGF will enable Victorian Slider’s management team to double capacity at its production facility in Carmarthenshire, South Wales and further invest in its recycling plant, helping it to cement its position as Europe’s largest specialist manufacturer of uPVC vertical sliding sash windows.

During the same time period, BGF also completed a multi-million investment in Swansea-based Character.com. Founded in 2009 by husband-and-wife team Stephen and Karen Hewitt, the children’s clothing retailer featured on the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 for four consecutive years. BGF’s investment will be used to support the long-term growth plans of the business.

Rounding off the year, BGF also announced the successful exit of its investment in DevOpsGroup – the Cardiff-based digital transformation and cloud consultancy. BGF invested £3 million in DevOpsGroup in April 2018 to fuel the acceleration of its consultancy services and build on its strong sales momentum. The exit of DevOpsGroup yielded a high return on BGF’s capital.

Wales is home to many brilliant businesses which have shown themselves to be particularly resilient to the ongoing challenges faced by the pandemic. The businesses we back are committed to ambitious growth plans, both in the UK and internationally, and as such we expect the ongoing deal momentum to continue well into 2022 and beyond.

Ned Dorbin, head of BGF in Wales and the South West

“BGF’s success in Wales reaffirms the value of our model in supporting ambitious management teams to grow a larger business ahead of their eventual exit – it is a solution that works well. As long-term minority partners we’re committed to working in partnership with the businesses we back through funding and strategic support. We’re confident the region’s businesses have the growth potential, talent, and appetite to make 2022 another good year, and we’re excited about supporting them on that journey.”