Barry Jackson, head of BGF in Yorkshire and the North East.
Barry Jackson, head of BGF in Yorkshire and the North East.
Austen Shakespeare

Major capital firm invests £41m in Yorkshire and North East in 2021

The UK & Ireland’s most active growth capital investor has invested £41m in Yorkshire and the North East in 2021.

BGF has a strong pipeline and is pledging to increase investment in the region again in 2022. BGF is a long-term investor, making initial investments between £1m to £15m for a minority equity stake. It backs teams across a range of sectors and funds a variety of growth plans.

Over the last 12 months, investments by the Leeds-based team have included: £14m of funding to Bloom Procurement – the UK’s only public sector procurement marketplace; £5.9m in Northern Building Plastics to support nationwide expansion; and £3.05m in SaaS tech platform, Hicomply.

In addition, BGF successfully exited four businesses in Yorkshire and the North East to trade buyers. These included the sale of Yorkshire-headquartered bakery business Cooplands, where BGF backed the business with a £8.5m investment in December 2017, supplemented with £7.7m follow-on funding in November 2020.

This deal followed the exit of high-growth waste management and recycling company, J&B Recycling, acquired by a Spanish buyer and the sale of pharmaceutical services business Arcinova, acquired by Quotient Life Sciences.

Barry Jackson, head of BGF in Yorkshire and the North East in May, said: “The region continues to face a whole host of challenges, whether that’s supply chain disruptions, labour shortages, inflationary pressures, a global pandemic, or Brexit.

“Despite the sustained pressure, entrepreneur-led businesses in high-growth sectors are driving forward with ambitious development strategies, which makes them extremely appealing from an investment perspective.”

BGF has also provided follow-on funding to existing portfolio businesses, including digital transport management and eProcurement software provider, 365 Response.

The Wakefield-based company utilised BGF’s investment alongside other funding to acquire transport technology solutions business, Flexiroute, as part of a long-term strategy to support the delivery of zero-carbon solutions for councils.

Jackson added: “As we enter 2022, all the signs are there for another active year of supporting high quality businesses that have the appetite to scale. We’ve had a record year for exits in the region which reaffirms our model and point of difference in the market.

“With an abundance of talented business owners looking to capitalise on the opportunities both domestically and overseas, together with the confidence to face the ongoing challenges head on, we’re looking forward to embarking on that investment journey with both new and existing portfolio companies.”

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