BGF to build on record year by supporting recovery
Simon Welton: ‘excellent performance’
BGF, the growth capital investor, believes it can beat last year’s record performance as it supports companies emerging from the lockdown.
The group backed 61 firms in 2020, with an 11% rise in investment to £384 million.
It was also a good year for exits with BGF generating returns of £228m.
The group made a year-end operating profit of £346m, reflecting ongoing growth in its underlying portfolio and realisations.
It is now looking to surpass those investments by targeting businesses that have outgrown the kind of early-stage funding available for start-ups, but have not yet achieved the scale of large, listed businesses.
They also include the thousands of companies who may be over-indebted as a result of the pandemic. BGF is committed to supporting scaling businesses and believes that equity funding must be part of the solution to meeting these companies’ needs.
Stephen Welton, executive chairman, said: “We’ve gone through what we hope will be a once-in- a-generation event, and learned that with determination, focus and the right allocation of capital, we can achieve amazing things.
“BGF’s excellent performance during the pandemic demonstrates the strength of our diversified model, our strong regional approach and the resilience of the entrepreneurs we exist to support.
“We’re proud that our model stood up under pressure, allowing us to continue investing at an average pace of one new investment a week, despite the upheaval of lockdowns and other challenges.
“No other equity investor in the land can match that rate of activity. We have a unique investment platform and capability that we want to continue to leverage in full as the economy both recovers and powers ahead in key sectors.”
Andy Gregory, chief investment officer, said: “Because we take a long-term approach to investing, we were able to see past the short-term challenges affecting some of the sectors most impacted by Covid-19, which enabled BGF to continue to deploy capital at a time when it was most needed.
“Our investment model has proved remarkably effective during the pandemic. I’m confident that our key metrics will only increase in the year ahead.”