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Sale of holiday resort boosts figures

Dundee deal means BGF hits £1 billion milestone

bgf-investor-patrick-grahamBusiness Growth Fund has passed £1 billion in committed investments to entrepreneurial businesses across Britain.

An £11 million investment in holiday park operator Coppergreen Developments, which has been used to support the acquisition of Dundee-based Piperdam Golf and Leisure Resort, means the total amount invested by BGF has hit the key milestone. 

The funding package to Coppergreen (see below) will support the addition of 28 lodges and also the further provision of outdoor pursuits including mountain bike trails and quad biking.

BGF is on track to invest more than £370m this year, compared to £250m in 2015.

More than 150 small and mid-sized companies have taken BGF funding since October 2011, including Scotland-based M Squared Lasers, Stevenswood Doors and Windows, Keenan Recycling and MorphCostumes. 

More than £700m of the £1bn has been invested outside of London and the South East including £127m in 17 businesses across Scotland.

Nationally, BGF invested more than £100m in the third quarter of 2016, compared to £60m in the same quarter last year.

According to Beauhurst, BGF was the top institutional investor in the three months following the EU referendum by number of deals completed, against a backdrop of an overall slowdown in investment activity.

Collectively, the businesses backed by BGF employ 25,000 people nationwide – a number which would make it the UK’s eighth largest private sector employer.

Patrick Graham, Investor, Scotland, BGF said: “BGF has established itself as the leading provider of long-term capital in the UK. We are proud to have backed 17 great companies in Scotland – and we know that we have only just scratched the surface.

“While growing businesses will be affected in different ways and to varying degrees during the Brexit negotiations and beyond, our long-term approach means that we have no intention of slowing down our new activity or support for the companies we back.”

BGF makes long-term investments in small to mid-sized businesses in return for a minority stake. The companies it backs are privately-owned or listed on AIM, and typically have revenues of between £5m and £100m.

> Piperdam holiday resort was sold by Colliers International to Coppergreen which was founded by husband and wife David Copley, CEO and Donna Copley, FD, and Richard Sidi, who will retain a non-executive role.

Sam Wall, who worked with the Coppergreen team managing a portfolio of nine parks, will join as commercial director.

Non-executive chairman Steve Brown, a founding director of Center Parcs UK and a former non-executive director at Forest Holidays will join the board alongside Barry Jackson, who led the deal for BGF, supported by Mike Clarke.

Richard Moss, head of Colliers parks’ team, said: “Holiday and leisure parks of this size, quality and trading record rarely become available and it was no surprise that it attracted a progressive operator such as Coppergreen and indeed ticked all the boxes of BGF’s investment criteria.

“It is great to see this level of investment in Scotland’s tourism and leisure sector which shows great confidence in the product, the area and the sustainability of Scotland’s tourist pull.” 

The sellers were also advised by the specialist teams at Harper Macleod solicitors and Findlay & Co Chartered Accountants.

David Copley, CEO at Coppergreen Developments, added: “We are really excited by this acquisition and look forward to continuing the high standards of the business at Piperdam.

We are focused on thoughtfully and sensitively expanding the site so that even more holidaymakers can enjoy first-class accommodation in beautiful surroundings.

“We are delighted to have received further support from our bank, HSBC, and to be entering into a new partnership with BGF as we implement our growth plans.”

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