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BGF invests in Northern Ireland housebuilder

Investment news
21.11.2015.

A family owned housebuilder has become the first company in Northern Ireland to secure investment from BGF.

For more than 40 years, Braidwater has been designing and building high quality two to five bed family homes across Northern Ireland, with a strong focus on design and building efficiency. The business is run by founder and Executive Chairman Patrick McGinnis and his son, Managing Director Joe McGinnis.

The growth capital investment will be used to support the development of residential properties across existing sites and provide Braidwater with long term strength to deliver on its commitments, helping it to address the shortage of new build houses in Northern Ireland. Four developments are currently underway at Bedford Meadows, Antrim, Drenagh Park, Limavady, Leighinmohr Crescent, Ballymena and Fort Manor, Dundonald, with two more projects due to commence shortly.

Mike Stansfield, former CEO of David Wilson Homes, has been appointed by Braidwater as an independent Non-Executive Chairman following an introduction made by BGF. Paddy Graham, an Investor Director, and Ciaran McGivern, former Head of Business Banking with Bank of Ireland NI, will also join the board of the company. Following the deal, Braidwater’s social housing division will become a separate family company, BW Limited, which will continue to undertake project management and construction in the social housing sector.

BGF was set up in 2011 to provide a new type of funding option for small and mid-sized businesses, offering both an alternative and complementary source of money to bank debt. BGF is now a minority partner in more than 100 companies, with Braidwater becoming the first business in Northern Ireland to secure funding from BGF’s £2.5bn pot. Unlike traditional private equity funding, BGF makes long-term investments and holds non-controlling stakes in the companies it supports.

Joe McGinnis said: “This is an exciting new stage of development for Braidwater and we are delighted to have secured the investment. The business is growing, and we have seen strong demand from our current developments and have a healthy pipeline of land for acquisition. BGF’s investment and support along with our long standing highly experienced in house, on site and subcontract teams ensures that we have the ability to deliver on new opportunities and meet the increasing demand for high quality family homes.

“As a family business, we like BGF’s approach and its funding model which is focused on longer term, patient capital. We’re pleased to be their first investment in Northern Ireland and we would suggest that given the large number of family owned SMEs in Northern Ireland that other companies like ours should look to take advantage of opportunities such as this to create growth in this region.”

Andy Gregory, regional director for BGF in Northern Ireland said: “We’re delighted that Braidwater is our first investment in Northern Ireland, and that Joe and Patrick can now confidently move forward with their growth plans.

“Many small and mid-sized businesses have ambitions to grow but lack access to funding, or choose to rely exclusively on bank debt. BGF offers an alternative to this.

“We now have a proven model and an established infrastructure. We’re focused on finding strong management teams with deep knowledge of their sector, and we urge ambitious entrepreneurs to get in touch.”

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