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BGF continues to power the Midlands growth economy in 2022

BGF News 01.19.2023

BGF has delivered a series of strong exits in the Midlands in 2022, generating combined returns of £148 million and an average money multiple of more than 2.5x.

Last year saw BGF complete the stellar exit of Jola, the channel-only supplier of business communications specialising in mobile data SIMs, which was acquired by Wireless Logic – a leading global IoT connectivity platform provider.

Nationally, BGF invested a total of £443 million in 2022, continuing its commitment to providing patient minority-only capital to help ambitious growth companies achieve their full potential. BGF exited 40 companies across the UK, with an accumulative value of over £675 million and a combined money multiple of 2x.

In the Midlands £42.5 million was invested into the local growth economy. Notable deals included an £11 million investment into MyZone, a global manufacturer of wearable fitness tracking technology, and a £3.5 million investment into Nottingham-headquartered energy storage start-up, Cheesecake Energy.

BGF also provided follow-on funding for its existing Midlands portfolio, including £2.4 million for Environmental Essentials to drive its acquisitive growth strategy.

Myzone's wearable technology

At the same time, BGF continued to invest in its Midlands team with new hires, including investors Adam Huckerby and Sam Giurani.

BGF was set up to back businesses in challenging times, and 2022 has shown us the potential and opportunity that exists in this region. As such, our aim in the coming 12 months is to continue building strong relationships with fast-growth and entrepreneurial-led businesses looking for a non-controlling, supportive equity partner.

Neil Inskip, Head of BGF in the Midlands and North West

BGF’s portfolio has looked towards the Midlands for growth in 2022 with several entrepreneurial businesses expanding into the region. BGF-backed Apprentify acquired West Midlands-headquartered Netcom Training following a £5 million investment from BGF.

Operam Education in Yorkshire expanded to the West Midlands with the acquisition of First for Education, and bar operator Mission Mars opened new sites for its Albert’s Schloss and Rudy’s Pizza brands in Nottingham and Birmingham.

Inskip added: “As with any challenging economy, strong, well-capitalised businesses in resilient sectors will find opportunities to seize market share, particularly from less nimble, over leveraged rivals. The success of our portfolio in 2022 is testament to this strength and agility.”

The year was rounded off by the launch of the BGF Foundation, with a commitment of at least £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. Neil Inskip is a Trustee of the Foundation.

Since inception in 2011, BGF has provided £3 billion to more than 500 companies across every corner of the UK and Ireland. BGF has a strong pipeline of opportunities going into 2023, as it continues to fund promising and diverse businesses with capital throughout the economic cycle.

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