BGF – the UK & Ireland’s most active growth capital investor – has invested more than £23m in Yorkshire and the North East in the last six months, also completing a number of successful exits so far in 2022.
The investor has cemented its position in the region through a series of high-profile deals, including its £19m investment in premium bar group, Arc Inspirations. In addition, the Yorkshire & North East team has completed a number of successful exits in just over six months, such as 365 Response and Coppergreen Leisure Resorts, which delivered an aggregate return of 2.5x and 35 per cent IRR.
Together with new investment opportunities across the region, BGF has continued to support the ongoing growth of existing portfolio companies, providing follow-on funding to drive ambitious buy and build strategies.
This included a £2.5m investment together with a further £2.5m commitment in Operam Education Group, in addition to further follow-on funding for high-growth business, Bayfields Opticians & Audiologists. Bayfields, which is building a strong nationwide presence, is firmly on track to exceed its growth target of 50 practices by the end of 2023, increasing from 33 practices to 41 since the start of the year.
Barry Jackson, head of BGF in Yorkshire and the North East, said: “Yorkshire & the North East is rich with exciting and entrepreneurial businesses that are keen to utilise minority and long-term investment to achieve key strategic aims.
“The first half of 2022 has demonstrated the BGF model in action, with activity covering new investments, follow-on funding and successful exits that show perfectly how we’ve enabled portfolio businesses to scale at pace.
“We’re firmly committed to the region and believe the next six months will generate the same level of opportunities for growth, both across our existing portfolio, which is performing well, and the array of ambitious businesses looking to accelerate their strategic growth plans in 2022.”
The half-year performance of BGF in the region comes as the investor strengthens its team with key hires across Yorkshire & the North East. Last month, BGF appointed John Healey as an investor, to bolster its presence in the North East market. Previously at business advisory firm, UNW, Healey will be based in BGF’s Newcastle city centre office on Grey Street.
In addition, Linda Nguyenova, joined the team in Leeds as an investor from local private equity firm Endless LLP, where she spent more than three years as an investment manager. Nguyenova will lead deal origination activities across the region, as well as supporting on all aspects of the investment process.