BGF invested £3.1m of growth capital in Renal Services, an independent provider of dialysis services to NHS patients.
BGF took a minority stake and a seat on the company’s existing board.
Headquartered in London, Renal Services was founded in 2007, employs 62 staff and is the fourth largest provider of dialysis in the UK. The company currently runs six dialysis centres across the UK, operating 63 dialysis stations and treating approximately 700 permanent and transient patients on behalf of the NHS. Approximately 95% of treatments are delivered to permanent local patients.
The centres, which were designed and built by Renal Services, are located in Grantham, Havant, Launceston, Milford on Sea, Salisbury and Skegness. The company manages all aspects of dialysis care at its centres including clinical, quality control, data collection, diagnostics and maintenance services. It puts patient experience, choice and outcomes at the centre of its service with an on-going track record in exceeding local and national standards as set out by the Department of Health and the Renal Association.
Renal Services treats patients with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), the last stage of chronic kidney disease where patients’ kidneys can no longer sustain life, using Haemodialysis whereby a patient’s blood is filtered and cleaned through a machine external to their body three times a week.
In the UK, as of 2012, there were around 55,000 ESRD patients of which circa 27,000 were treated via HD. This figure has been growing steadily at an annual rate of 4 per cent over the last 17 years.
Renal Services has recently won two new contracts to build and operate three centres with 58 new dialysis stations and BGF’s investment will be used to fund these new centres located in the East Midlands and Northumberland and thereby doubling the size of the company. The investment is providing working capital for Renal to compete for and win additional new contracts to open and run new centres across the UK.
Alongside its equity investment, BGF contributed additional support to the company through the introduction of James Buckley as Non-Executive Chairman. James has an extensive background in the healthcare sector, formerly as CEO of Tunstall Group until 2009 and currently as Chairman of Ark Home Healthcare and Mangar International, and Non-Executive Director of Prism Medical.
ABBEY PHARMA (INTRAPHARM)
August 2014 to November 2015
Abbey Pharma, the specialist pharmaceutical company which trades as Intrapharm, secured a £2m investment from BGF in August 2014 . BGF took a minority stake in the business and the investment was used to fund the company’s buy-and-build strategy.
Intrapharm was established in 2009 and is a fast growing, dynamic niche pharmaceutical group that manufactures, distributes and sells prescription and ‘Over the Counter’ (OTC) products. Based in Maidenhead, the business is led by Kevin James as CEO and Shafiq Choudhary as COO. As part of BGF’s investment, Brian McEwan joined as chairman. Brian has over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry having previously held positions as MD of Amdipharm Mercury Company Ltd (AMCo) and COO of Waymade Healthcare Plc.
BGF’s investment supported Intrapharm as a buy & build platform, enabling the business to acquire Crewe based Peckforton Pharmaceuticals, as well as Alvedon, a specialist pain treatment drug. Immediately prior to BGF’s exit, Intrapharm also acquired Aquamax, an emollient cream for use against dry skin conditions.
Following a period of sustained growth, with revenues increasing from £4m p.a. at the point of BGF’s investment to £12m for the current financial year, the business was acquired by German pharmaceutical company RIEMSER Pharma GmbH in November 2015. BGF exited its minority equity stake in the business, with all shareholders realising a strong return.
Kevin James, CEO of Abbey Pharma commented:
“Over the past ten years we have achieved sustained and significant growth through focusing on the speciality pharmaceuticals market. We are very excited about the opportunity to jointly expand and accelerate our growth strategy under the umbrella of RIEMSER”
“BGF’s funding came at the right time for the business and has allowed us to scale the platform with the acquisition of Peckforton, while our Chairman Brian McEwan has provided invaluable support and advice.”
James Austin, Investment Director, BGF commented:
“In Abbey Pharma we backed a first class team in a rapidly expanding business with a strong platform for acquisitive growth. It has been exciting to watch the growth of Intrapharm Abbey Pharma under Kevin and Shafiq’s leadership. The success and attractiveness of the Intrapharm business has been ratified by the acquisition from RIEMSER.”
BGF BACKS BOLTON-BASED MEDICAL DEVICES COMPANY MEDICINA
BGF made its third healthcare sector investment in December 2013 when it invested £6m in medical devices company Medicina.
Medicina is the UK market leader in the enteral feeding device sector. Medicina designs and distributes syringes, tubes and pumps which administer nutrition to a patient, both in hospital and at home. The business, which is based in Bolton, was founded by CEO Ken Harrison in 1992. Clients include the NHS and a number of leading homecare companies.
This investment was led by BGF’s Manchester team.
The investment will allow Medicina to capitalise on growth opportunities in the UK and international markets, as well as support new product development and provide for future acquisitions. Galvin Mould joined Medicina as Non-Executive Chairman bringing with him wide-ranging senior level experience in the healthcare sector.
Medicina was the fifth investment made by BGF in the North during 2013 and took the total invested in the year to £35m. Other businesses backed included Better Bathrooms, one of the UK’s leading bathroom retailers; VTL Group, the manufacturer of precision engineered parts for the automotive industry; Xercise4Less, the low cost gym group and York Mailing, the UK market leader in the specialist production of retail flyers, media inserts and quality catalogues. Collectively they employ over 1,200 people and represent a variety of industry sectors.
This was also the third healthcare sector investment for BGF, having backed Shuropody, the specialist footcare provider and retailer and Springfield Healthcare, Yorkshire and Humberside’s largest independent provider of domiciliary care.
Medicina was introduced to BGF by BTG Corporate Finance and the company is banked by RBS.
Ken Harrison, CEO of Medicina commented:
“We see a number of exciting ways to grow the business both in the UK and overseas. As part of our growth strategy, it was important to find the right long term investor to partner with. BGF demonstrated a strong interest in the business and we believe that they are the right partner for us.”
Neil Inskip, Investment Manager at BGF, commented:
“We are delighted to be backing Ken, who has grown Medicina to be the UK market leader in its sector. BGF’s capital and support will help the Company take advantage of the significant opportunity to grow both domestically and overseas. BGF was established to provide long-term capital to ambitious companies and Medicina meets all of the criteria we look for when selecting investments.”
Andy Gregory, Regional Director for BGF’s Northern team, commented:
“Our Northern presence continues to go from strength to strength. We have now backed ten exciting companies across a huge range of sectors – from manufacturing and retail through to healthcare and hospitality. Having invested £35m this calendar year, we have continued to expand our team as we look to meet the strong demand from ambitious, growing companies who require development capital.”
BGF-backed Springfield completes Seacroft Grange care village creating 100 jobs
Seacroft Grange care village in Leeds has been completed following a five year renovation project and a £1.9m investment from BGF.
The new care village will create 100 new jobs and transform a once dilapidated historic building overlooking an ancient village green into a new care complex.
The funding formed part of BGF’s overall £4.4m investment in Seacroft Grange owners Springfield Healthcare Group.
The care village offers services including day care, residential and nursing care, as well as private independent living apartments for a wide range of age groups.
The building dates back to 1627 and had been prominent within the local community for many years. For 30 years until the mid-1970s it operated as Seacroft primary school and many of the local residents who attended the school during those years still live locally and will benefit greatly from the services offered and have been great advocates of the project.
Chief executive Graeme Lee said: “Our model helps families make an informed choice earlier in the planning process and then moves with the needs of individuals or couples as their care needs progress, at the same time ensuring long-term consistency where the care team and quality of information are concerned. At the heart of our care village is a Grade II listed building which will be the basis for all our social and community activities and houses a cinema, therapy spa and gym, hair salon and coffee shop that wouldn’t look out of place on the high streets of York or Harrogate.
“As well as exceptional views over the village green, which is mentioned in the Domesday Book, people and families can be seen going about their daily business and, unusually, we have every single community amenity including medical centres, pharmacy, pub, library, church, post office, supermarket and bus station, all within 100 metres.”
Springfield Healthcare Group is the largest independent provider of domiciliary care in Yorkshire and Humberside. It provides care to nearly 2,000 clients each day and employs over 600 people locally.
Bolt-on acquisition for Springfield
BGF backed Springfield Homecare Services Ltd, part of Springfield Healthcare Group, has completed the acquisition of Positive Life Choices (PLC), a domiciliary care business based in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Springfield Homecare is one of the largest independent providers of domiciliary care in Yorkshire and Humberside.
PLC represents the first acquisition that Springfield has made using BGF capital. Springfield financed the acquisition following two investments totaling £4.4 million, which were made by BGF in June 2012.
The deal will add approximately 2,000 hours of care to Springfield Homecare, which gives the business a new presence in the North East and strong relationships with a number of new local authorities. It also increases the number of employees in Springfield Homecare to over 800 and turnover of the overall Group to greater than £13 million per annum.
The acquisition will allow Springfield to submit a variety of local authority tenders to get approval onto new framework agreements and also offers the potential to expand PLC’s services into Durham, Sunderland, Stockton, Northumberland and other neighbouring areas.
Based in the outskirts of the city centre to the north east of Newcastle, PLC specialises in the provision of care services to individuals with learning disabilities (LD) and currently covers Newcastle, Gateshead and Darlington. PLC also provides care services to older people, those with physical disabilities, mental health problems and sensory impairments and works within the supported living, domiciliary and respite care sectors. The company was founded in 2007 by husband and wife team Ian and Amanda Dickinson and has grown steadily, employing 90 staff with a turnover of approximately £1 million per annum.
Of BGF’s total £4.4 million investment, £1.47 million has already been used to fund the development of The Grange Care Village in Seacroft, Leeds, which is expected to be completed in the autumn of 2013.
Graeme Lee, founder and CEO of Springfield Healthcare commented:
“I am delighted to announce our acquisition of Positive Life Choices. This marks the start of an exciting period of growth into the North East for Springfield Home Care, alongside its existing progress within Yorkshire and Humberside.
“BGF’s funding is enabling us to source similar excellent opportunities across Yorkshire and the North East where we can invest quickly, professionally and in alignment with existing management teams.”
Richard Taylor of BGF commented:
“We’d like to congratulate Graeme Lee and Amanda Dickinson on the completion of this acquisition, which is a significant milestone for Springfield’s growth plan.
“For businesses determined to grow quickly, a strategic acquisition can be a transformative moment. However buying another company requires deep pockets and the experience to integrate two organisations in a way that realises their combined potential. Some growing companies have the ambition to expand this way, but lack the means to do it.
“Funding also remains a major challenge for businesses with an acquisition target in mind – even if bank debt is available, it may not be the best way to finance the deal. In practice, equity capital is far less restrictive than bank debt, where the borrower is subsequently required to perform to very tightly defined criteria.
“BGF growth capital is well suited to supporting growth through acquisition and it is a key area where we can offer support to business owners.”
BGF backs Midlands based Shuropody to expand its national footprint
Midlands based Shuropody is the UK’s leading specialist footcare provider with local branches in Birmingham, Coventry, Leamington Spa and Stratford-Upon-Avon within its 63-strong national network.
In September 2012, BGF invested £3 million of growth capital in Shuropody to enable the company to expand upon its current garden centre based sites, as well as the introduction of new community service locations. It is expected this will generate another 200 jobs over the next three years.
This investment was led by BGF’s seven strong Birmingham team and is its third investment in Midlands based businesses to date.
BGF’s ability to structure investments flexibly to best meet a particular company’s financing needs enabled it to split the £3 million growth capital investment into £1.5 million of ordinary shares and £1.5 million of loan notes.
Shuropody delivered sales of £15.8 million in the year ending 31 December 2011 and is expecting sales to double over the next 3 years. Headquartered in Coventry and founded in 2007, Shuropody offers podiatry services and comfort-focused footwear products. Initially opening a handful of stores in 2007, the company grew rapidly following its purchase of 43 stores from Boots, in July 2008. The business now operates from 63 standalone stores and concessions across the UK and is the second largest provider of podiatry services behind the NHS, with 400 employees, of whom almost 150 are medically qualified podiatrists.
Shuropody was founded by Managing Director Frank Duffy who has been involved in the manufacture and retail of footwear and general clothing since 1978. He previously spent four years as Group CEO of R Griggs Group which famously produced Dr. Marten’s shoes. Gordon Horsfield acts as Non-Executive Chairman and was previously Chairman of Drax Group Plc where he led the restructuring programme before listing the business on the London Stock Exchange in 2005.