BGF, the UK’s most active investor in growing businesses, has invested more than a quarter of a billion pounds in Scottish businesses to date. This includes 30 new investments, as well as follow-on funding for existing portfolio companies, since BGF was set up in 2011.
BGF’s team in Scotland, based in local offices in Edinburgh and Aberdeen, provided £42m of patient capital to businesses with three new investments in 2018. These included Parklands Group, one of Scotland’s largest independent care home providers and BGF’s first investment in the Highlands and Moray, and Cumbernauld-based Moulded Foams, the UK’s largest independent manufacturer of moulded foam products.
Follow-on investments into existing portfolio companies included Aberdeen-headquartered oil and gas service providers SPEX Group, and the commitment of a further £10m to oilfield technology group FrontRow Energy Technology Group, to support further growth in its group companies, taking BGF’s total commitment to £20m.
The investor also announced three successful exits in the last 12 months – Aberdeen-based Petrotechnics, a provider of operational excellence software bought by US based Sphera Solutions Inc., leading Scottish optical provider Duncan & Todd Group and Edinburgh-based Jumpstart, the UK’s leading R&D tax credit specialists, as the business was acquired by Visiativ Group.
Mike Sibson, head of BGF’s Aberdeen office which covers the North, North-east, Dundee, and the Highlands and Islands, said: “Entrepreneurs and business owners are clearly concerned about uncertainty surrounding Brexit, but it’s really encouraging that for many of them this hasn’t translated into a wholesale pause in their growth plans. There is great diversity in the portfolio, and we’ve seen some fantastic growth over the last 12 months in areas such as healthcare, food and drink, and an improving oil and gas services market.
“Going into 2019 we do expect some continued apprehension in the business community, but what’s crucial is that there is backing available for the companies that have real growth potential and ambition. We will continue to support these businesses and with an encouraging pipeline and a number of active discussions ongoing, we are looking ahead to this year with optimism.”