Growth capital investor BGF completed deals with a total enterprise value (EV) of £450m in the North West in six months.
During the same period, BGF’s North West team achieved a series of remarkable exits which resulted in the recovery of £150m of capital out of £72m invested.
Highlights include the sale of Liverpool-based Sentric to Swiss fintech company Utopia Music, the acquisition of NSS by PTSG and the sale of CurrentBody to eComplete.
This is in addition to the stellar release of Kids Planet, which accelerated the rollout of the nursery group from 17 to over 80 sites during its investment period.
BGF also retained minority stakes in Kids Planet and Utopia Music, as it continues to be a long-term partner of both companies.
BGF made a total investment of £42m in North West-based growth businesses in six months.
These entrepreneur-led companies span multiple sectors, including technology, manufacturing, professional services, healthcare, and training, and are based in every corner of the region.
The North West team has backed apprenticeship training provider Apprentify with a £5m investment to execute an ambitious buy and build strategy in the adult learning and education market.
Wigan-based manufacturer Evolution Aqua has received a £12 million investment from the BGF to capitalize on growth opportunities in key markets and drive international expansion. Alongside Gresham House Ventures, BGF also announced a £10 million investment in Panthera Biosciences to further develop its network of dedicated clinical trial sites in the UK and Western Europe.
The combined EV of these investments and exits upon completion was £450m.
Neil Inskip, BGF’s Head of North West and Midlands, said: “We regularly meet quality business owners in the region who are looking to grow their business and work towards long-term growth and exit. successful.
“Our recent round of investments has opened up opportunities for innovation and product development, international and vertical market expansion, investment in technology and talent, and improved balance sheets for the management seeking to capitalize on growth opportunities such as mergers and acquisitions.”
He added: “Alongside positive new investments, we are also seeing strong performance across our portfolio in the region as we continue to work with management teams to drive growth. We have had an exceptional period of returns from recent releases in the region, which is a testament to the strength of the businesses we support in the North West and BGF’s investment model.
This news follows BGF’s recently released annual results in the UK and Ireland, which marked a banner year for the company as a whole in 2021.
As well as maintaining its position as the most active investor in UK and Irish companies in the growth economy, BGF has backed 67 new businesses, investing a total of £600m. Of that, £165m was follow-on funding to support portfolio company growth, which is a key part of its long-term offering to entrepreneurs.
Nationally, BGF exited investments in 39 companies, delivering a total return of £571m on exits in 2021 – down from £233m in 2020 – a multiple of 2x and a gross IRR of 23 .4%.