BGF announces record year for exits in Annual Report

Read our key findings from the 2022 Annual Report and hear from CEO Andy Gregory, or download the report in full for more details.

23 June 2023

BGF published its 2022 Annual Report today, showcasing exceptional achievements in the past year. You can read the full report here or the highlights below.

  • Record-breaking exits

BGF achieved 40 exits, resulting in an investment return exceeding £676 million, generating a money multiple of 2x and an IRR of 22.5%.

  • Continued support for ambitious growth companies

BGF made 45 new investments and 63 follow-on investments, totalling £444 million, continuing its commitment to backing companies with ambitious growth potential. This takes the total number of companies supported across the UK and Ireland to over 500 since BGF’s inception.

  • Notable investments in 2022

BGF expanded its portfolio with strategic investments across a diverse range of sectors. Notable deals include sustainable home energy business Tepeo in Surrey; ground-breaking life sciences business Enhanc3D Genomics in Cambridge; digital apprenticeships provider Apprentify in Manchester; data science consultancy Optima Partners in Edinburgh, and online education platform BBC Maestro in London.

  • Successful fundraising for the UK Enterprise Fund (UKEF)

In partnership with Coutts, the private banking arm of NatWest Group, BGF has raised £80 million for the UKEF to date. This provides Coutts’ client base with access to investment opportunities in privately-owned scaleup and early-stage businesses, as part of BGF’s nationwide platform.

  • Launch of the BGF Foundation

BGF launched the BGF Foundation, an independent charitable foundation, funded by BGF and aimed at supporting small and mid-sized charities with a yearly income of between £500,000 and £3 million. The Foundation is backed by a commitment of £1.5 million from BGF and the portfolio over the next three years.

  • Responsible investment

ESG is a crucial part of BGF’s purpose and the principles of ESG are firmly embedded into BGF’s investment process. In 2022, BGF backed a range of climate and sustainability businesses, ESG support was offered to the portfolio through BGF’s Expertise On-Demand platform, and a number of portfolio companies were recognised for ESG success with B Corp certification.

Further to the publication of the Annual Accounts, and as announced earlier this year, BGF’s former CEO and current Non-Executive Chair, Stephen Welton, will step down from the Board on 30 June 2023, after 12 years of service. The search for the next Non-Executive Chair is underway and will be concluded shortly.

Andy Gregory, CEO, said:

“I am pleased to present our 2022 Annual Report, my first as CEO, which highlights the remarkable accomplishments of the companies and brilliant entrepreneurs we have supported across all corners of the UK and Ireland.

One of BGF’s unique strengths lies in our ability to provide flexible, long-term funding and our essence as a provider of minority capital only, is something entrepreneurs continue to find attractive.

Our performance is primarily measured by the success of our exits, which reached record levels last year, delivering strong returns for all shareholders. The proceeds from ongoing exit activity provide us with significant firepower to continue investing throughout the economic cycle and scaling businesses in the years ahead.

We believe that responsible investing is equally paramount to our financial performance. Last year, we made substantial progress across all areas of ESG and we will continue to lead with purpose, both within BGF and across the portfolio.

We also continued to demonstrate our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion; for example, backing Cornerstone VC, a £20 million fund that invests in entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds in the UK.

Looking ahead, BGF’s unique positioning enables us to continue providing minority, long-term and patient capital to support a diverse range of growth businesses. This focus, alongside our disciplined and targeted approach to investment, will continue to position us for success in the years to come.”

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