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BGF invests more than £100 million in the Midlands and celebrates record year for exits

BGF invests more than £100 million in the Midlands and celebrates record year for exits

BGF – the UK & Ireland’s most active growth capital investor – has invested more than £100 million in the Midlands in 2021, backing some of the most entrepreneurial businesses in the region. Entering the year with a strong pipeline, BGF is aiming to build on this level of activity in 2022. 

BGF is a long-term patient investor, making initial investments between £1 million to £15 million for a minority equity stake. It backs ambitious teams across a range of sectors and funds a variety of growth plans.   

In the last 12 months, BGF’s Midlands team completed nine new investments, while continuing to provide growth capital and follow-on funding for its existing portfolio.  

Investments in 2021 included £10.25 million in award-winning mobile data specialist and eSIM Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd; £8.5 million in Antser, a leading innovator in social care; and £13 million in Bambino Mio a market-leading reusable nappy firm. 

In 2021, BGF successfully exited 10 businesses in the Midlands, including Chase Distillery, which was acquired by global beverage and alcohol company Diageo, and Nottingham-based life sciences incubation business, BioCity. 

BGF also provided follow-on funding to its investees, including Aceleron, the UK developer of sustainable and reusable battery solutions. The funding is enabling the innovative company to scale the production of its unique circular economy battery technology and expand its reach across global markets including the UK, Europe, Africa and Americas.  

Andy Gregory, chief investment officer at BGF, said: 

“The Midlands is rich with innovative and fast-growing businesses eager to expand their footprint and realise the significant potential that exists in their sectors. The last 12 months have posed considerable challenges to regional, entrepreneurial companies but, despite this, they have ploughed on with ambitious growth strategies and we’re delighted to have played a part in making those scale-up plans a reality. 

“This year’s success for BGF reaffirms our flexible model and point of difference in the market as business owners in our portfolio have been able to take advantage of attractive investment opportunities for themselves and BGF.” 

As a whole, BGF has been extremely active in the Midlands in 2021, with three new investors joining the team last year. David Bellis, Nick Holder and Elena Kovalikhina will support new and existing portfolio companies such as Johnsons Aggregates & Recycling and leading provider of occupational health and corporate wellbeing services, Medigold Health.  

Andy added: 

“There have been seismic changes in almost all sectors across the region, but this has also created a wealth of opportunity. The Midlands has a strong presence across a wide range of industries so is perfectly positioned in 2022 to adapt to the ever-changing landscape.” 

Strong regional momentum comes off the back of a significant year for BGF as a whole, which has seen the growth capital investor complete 67 new deals and invest £600m over the course of 2021 – a record year for the fund which underlines its critical contribution to the UK’s growth economy.  

 


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