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BGF strengthens presence in East Midlands

BGF News 01.08.2018

BGF, the UK & Ireland’s most active investor in growing businesses, has announced the launch of its East Midlands office in Nottingham as it continues to scale its operations. Located at City Gate East, Nottingham, the office will serve as a base to build even closer connections to businesses and advisors in the East Midlands.

BGF has invested close to £100m in companies across the region since 2011, including SDL Group, The Coaching Inn Group, GCI, Rutland Cycling and Johnsons Aggregates. Earlier this month, BGF announced its latest investment into Nottingham-headquartered Muscle Food, a high-growth online delivery and subscription service for health-conscious eaters.

BGF investors Ian Downing and Jonathan Earl will relocate to the Nottingham office. Between them, Ian and Jon have 30 years’ experience working in the East Midlands investment community, and joined BGF in 2011 and 2013 respectively. They will be joined by Seb Saywood who has more than 10 years’ experience working in the East Midlands investment community.

Seb joins BGF from Foresight Group. Prior to that, he worked in corporate finance lead advisory at Clearwater International and trained in restructuring as a Chartered Accountant. Seb, Jon and Ian, supported by the wider Midlands team, will be responsible for identifying, funding and supporting growing businesses in the East Midlands.

BGF has opened 11 offices across the UK & Ireland since 2011, including Nottingham and Birmingham, and employs a team of 150 investors, portfolio managers and support staff.

An established and independent company, BGF provides patient capital to businesses with revenues typically between £5m and £100m in exchange for a minority, non-controlling stake. BGF invests exclusively in small and mid-sized firms headquartered in the UK and Ireland, and is in the top ten most active investors globally.

Ian Downing, BGF, said: “The launch of BGF’s Nottingham office signals our intent to provide capital to more businesses in the East Midlands. Having already invested almost £100m in the region, there is potential to do more to support businesses located here – from manufacturers and industrial services providers to tech, healthcare, hospitality companies and more.”

Seb Saywood, BGF, said: “I am delighted to be joining such an experienced and respected team who have an excellent reputation for being approachable, supportive investors.

“There is a strong emphasis on backing excellent management teams with a differentiated investment approach that includes making longer-term, minority investments. It is a very compelling proposition for ambitious businesses. Opening the East Midlands office demonstrates BGF’s confidence in a region that I know contains rich entrepreneurial talent and a very strong professional community.”

Adrian Thirkill, CEO of BGF-backed GCI said: “BGF brought something new and additive to the UK investment industry. Since 2012, they have provided GCI with cash to grow, guidance and professional support – without taking control. We’ve also been able to draw on their extensive network throughout each stage of GCI’s growth.”

To date, more than 70 percent of the £1.3bn BGF has committed has been invested in companies outside London & the South East. BGF’s approach to building a truly UK-wide infrastructure and working at the heart of local business communities has been critical to achieving this.