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BGF continues to power the Yorkshire and North East growth economy in 2022

BGF News 01.19.2023

BGF has committed £40 million to Yorkshire and North East businesses in 2022 and delivered strong realisations from its exits.

Deals in the last 12 months, include a £19 million investment in leading bar operator, Arc Inspirations. The long-term, minority investment was provided to support the continued roll-out of Arc’s three concepts – Banyan, Box & Manahatta.

Most recently, BGF completed a £13.75 million investment in Leeds-headquartered audio visual (AV) and event technology specialist, Blue-i Group. This funding will help fuel the group’s recruitment plans to expand its technical teams, as well as accelerate a capital investment programme which will support European sales growth.

In 2022, BGF successfully exited 365 Response, a SaaS-based provider of transport services across the NHS and local authorities, and Coppergreen Leisure Resorts, a luxury, family-run holiday park business.

The latter deal completed in 2022, following a total of £21 million invested into the Sheffield-headquartered holiday business, which was acquired by Away Resorts, backed by CVC Capital Partners Fund VIII. Both of these exits delivered a combined money multiple of 2.4x on BGF’s original investment.

In addition, BGF expanded its team in the region with the appointments of John Healey and Linda Nguyenova as investors and opened its first fully serviced office in Newcastle, led by Healey.

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.

2022 has shown the potential and opportunity that exists in the region, across a diverse range of sectors, including healthcare, technology, and retail.

Barry Jackson, head of BGF in Yorkshire and the North East

“Looking ahead, our aim in the coming 12 months is to build strong relationships with fast-growth and entrepreneurial-led businesses looking for long-term, minority investments, such as Springfield Healthcare Group which we’ve now supported for a decade and has to date received £31 million from BGF.”

The last 12 months also saw BGF provide follow-on funding for its existing portfolio including £5 million to support Operam Education Group, one of the leading education recruitment agencies in the North of England, in its buy-and-build growth strategy.

BGF supported Operam with a £2.5m facility for future acquisitions as well as £2.5 million investment, alongside £2.5 million of senior debt from HSBC, to support the acquisition of West Midlands-based, First for Education.

In 2022, Bayfields Opticians & Audiologists has also received a further £2.5 million from BGF, as it continues on the acquisition trail, expanding its presence across the UK.

Jackson 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.”

“By adopting a minority, non-controlling equity partner approach, one with a patient outlook on investments, based on shared long-term goals with the management teams we back, BGF can support high quality businesses that have the appetite to scale.

The exits of Coppergreen and 365 Response have delivered strong returns for BGF and demonstrate how we can help accelerate growth through the provision of development capital under our differentiated model.”

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.

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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