SME support

BBI backs Glasgow fund Panoramic with £30m

Stephen Campbell: tough fundraising environment

British Business Investments (BBI) is committing £30m to the Glasgow-based Panoramic SME III fund as part of a final close of £100m.

It will allow Panoramic to fund growth opportunities and management transitions for smaller businesses across the UK.

Panoramic is an established fund manager that invests across the UK but focuses specifically on Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North of England.

It provides hybrid, debt and equity financing and is usually the first source of institutional capital for the smaller businesses it funds.

Panoramic will invest in a range of transactions including management buyouts and replacement capital as well as financing growth for aspiring business owners. 

Investment of between £2m and £8m will be made into companies that have achieved EBITDA of more than £500,000 in the prior 12 months.

It adopts a partner-led approach focused solely on UK SMEs. The new fund will have flexibility in its capital structuring and will invest through a combination of equity and loan notes. This is a continuation of the strategy adopted in predecessor funds.

BBI, a wholly-owned commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank, aims to increase the supply and diversity of finance for smaller businesses across the UK by boosting the lending capacity of a range of finance providers.

Since it was established in 2014, BBI has committed more than £3.3 billion to providers of finance to UK smaller businesses.

The British Business Bank previously supported Panoramic’s ECF 1 LP through its Enterprise Capital Funds programme in 2010 and Panoramic Growth Fund 2 via British Patient Capital in 2015.

Judith Hartley, CEO at BBI, said: “At British Business Investments, our mission is to increase the overall supply and diversity of finance for smaller businesses across the UK.

“Following the British Business Bank’s earlier support to Panoramic, we are pleased to be making this commitment through British Business Investments.

“Our commitment to Panoramic will help more UK smaller businesses, particularly in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North of England, to access the capital they need to grow and succeed.’’

Stephen Campbell, partner at Panoramic, said: “In a tough fundraising environment, our ability to hit our hard cap of £100m is testament to our consistently strong track record and the business owners we have backed since our first fund launched in 2010.”

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