Foresight launches £60m fund for Scottish SMEs
Foresight Group, the listed regionalised private equity and infrastructure investment manager, has launched a second fund dedicated to investment in Scotland.
The first close, at more than £60 million, was supported by cornerstone commitments from Strathclyde Pension Fund and British Business Investments, a wholly-owned commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank.
This is Foresight’s eleventh regional fund, replicating the successful strategy already deployed in other parts of the UK.
It follows the launch in 2019 of the £32m Foresight Scottish Growth Fund with the support of the Scottish Government.
The new fund will target debt and equity investments of £1m to £5m in established SMEs. It will be managed by Foresight’s collegiate private equity team.
Since 2016, Foresight’s regional funds have helped to create thousands of jobs across the UK and healthy returns for its backers. Last year it made 94 investments into UK SMEs and delivered eight successful exits. Foresight exited Edinburgh-based Codeplay, generating a 16x return for investors.
Daniel Halliday, a director in the Edinburgh office, commented: “We continue to see an excellent opportunity to invest in Scotland, supporting the vibrant SME community that has historically been underserved by professionally managed capital. We look forward to growing our local team, building on the good work since establishing our office in 2019.”
Judith Hartley, CEO at British Business Investments, said: “British Business Investments is committed to improving choice and diversity of funding options for UK small businesses seeking to grow.
“By investing in funds like Foresight’s Scotland Fund, we help smaller businesses in the UK’s nations and regions to access capital and unlock rapid growth.”
Ian Jamison, investment manager at Strathclyde Pension Fund, said: “The Fund is a great opportunity to help growth within small and medium businesses across Scotland, which in turn will create local jobs and attract further investment, supporting economic growth whilst generating strong returns for our pension fund members.”