Furlough back up demand
BGF chief calls for renewal fund to support firms
Stephen Welton (right) with Scottish BGF head Patrick Graham (pic: Terry Murden)
Stephen Welton, executive chairman of the investment group BGF, has repeated his call for a National Renewal Fund to support firms as the furlough scheme unwinds.
As BGF unveils its latest investment figures, Mr Welton stressed the need for further government back up.
“As the furlough scheme comes to an end and creditors begin to seek repayment, many companies will now face a triple whammy: a harsh trading environment, the need to raise working capital and strengthen balance sheets, alongside pressure to pay back the loans they needed to take during lockdown.
“Without significant support that will be unsustainable for many businesses.
“There is a critical need to unlock vital sources of equity funding for UK firms that allow them to service their debts, but crucially also to grow.
“The government and the private sector alike must take this as an opportunity to be bold and commit to invest in the companies that will drive the economic recovery we so urgently need. That is why we are calling for a £15bn National Renewal Fund to ensure these businesses have the capital they deserve.
“Our discussions with a broad range of investors shows that with the right circumstances and approach, there is a willingness to invest.”
BGF has backed 24 companies in the first half of the year, whilst continuing to actively support its portfolio.
Andy Gregory, Head of Investments – UK & Ireland, BGF said: “BGF has experienced an impressive investment run rate which has continued at pace throughout lockdown. We are anticipating a strong third quarter, with a number of new deals – including investments in life sciences and clean tech – progressing well
Total H1 investment stands at £177m and includes £128m into new portfolio companies and £49m into existing portfolio companies.