STYLES & WOOD GROUP PLC
In June 2015, BGF invested £3.3m in Styles & Wood Group plc (LSE: STY), the Altrincham-based integrated property services and project delivery specialist, to support its long term growth strategy.
BGF invested alongside Henderson Volantis which also committed £3.3m to Styles & Wood for a minority stake in the business.
The co-investment brought two high quality institutional investors onto the Group’s share register and in doing so, helped the business to accelerate its growth objectives by strengthening the company’s balance sheet and providing a more appropriate capital structure. In addition, BGF’s investment allowed the Group to continue its diversification strategy and take advantage of growth opportunities available to it including, possibly, acquisitions of other businesses.
This was BGF’s second investment in a publicly listed company, having backed AIM-listed carpet and floorcovering manufacturer Victoria plc, which is based in Kidderminster, in September 2014.
Styles & Wood provides a range of property services to retail, banking, commercial and public sector clients. The Group’s services include design, building intelligence systems, renewable energy solutions and project delivery. Operating nationally from its head office in Altrincham, the business has regional offices in London, Nottingham and Lancaster and employs 285 people across the UK. Clients include Tesco, Waitrose and Barclays.
BGF is backing a strong management team led by Chief Executive Officer, Tony Lenehan, who was appointed CEO in January 2011. He joined from Bovis Lend Lease where he held executive responsibility for the company’s regional construction business. Previously he held the role of Managing Director for Carillion’s national building and integrated property solutions businesses. Matt Widdall will join the Styles & Wood Board as Non-Executive Director on behalf of BGF.
BGF in £5.6m follow on funding
In May 2014, BGF announced investments totalling £5.6m, of follow-on capital, into two investee businesses: award-winning Mexican street food chain, Barburrito (£3.6m) and budget gym chain, Xercise4Less (£2m).
BGF retained a minority stake in each of these businesses following the investments.
John Swarbrick, BGF’s Head of Portfolio, commented:
“We are an investor of just three years standing and the majority of our investments are still less than 18 months old. However, we are already seeing many encouraging signs of growth across the portfolio of companies that we have backed. This sort of sustained growth often requires the provision of further funding and the ability to provide this forms a critical element of BGF’s offer.”
Morgan Davies, MD and founder of Barburrito, said of the additional funding:
“We started this great burrito race in the UK and as I have always said, this is more than a business…it’s a passion. The further funding provided by BGF is a great step forward for our business. It offers us a vote of confidence and most importantly, the funds with which to continue to take the business forward.”
Since BGF backed Barburrito with an initial investment of £3.25m in March 2012, it has opened three new restaurants across London and additional sites in Leeds and Nottingham; and has established its position as the UK’s first burrito bar with a national presence. Its existing sites have also continued to experience strong like for like sales growth. The company’s turnover has doubled over the past year alone with a net sales run rate of over £8m, and it now employs 200 people nationwide.
Following this latest investment, Graham Turner the former CEO of the Tragus Group (the UK’s largest independent restaurant companies with more than 290 sites across the country) has joined the board of Barburrito as a Non-Executive Chairman. This introduction was made via BGF’s Talent Network.
Leeds based low cost gym chain, Xercise4Less, which received a £5m investment from BGF in August 2013, is also performing strongly and is on track to secure a further 11 sites this year, bringing its total to 29 gyms located across the country.
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.”
New report from BGF and Barclays finds UK start-up activity rises in first half of 2013
With the UK economy seemingly on the way to a sustained recovery, business confidence and entrepreneurialism also seem to be on the rise according to a new joint report from BGF and Barclays.
The Entrepreneurs Index, which tracks the full entrepreneurial lifecycle using data to measure start-ups, growth and share sales, has found that the number of start-ups and high-growth companies has climbed in the past year in the UK. This is the first report of what will be an ongoing series.
Using data from Experian, Companies House, Office for National Statistics, StartUp Britain and YouGov, the report gives a telling insight into the state of the UK’s entrepreneurial activity and reveals that there has been a 3.4% rise in the number of active companies in the first six months of this year, taking the total number of companies in the UK from 2.73 million at the end of 2012 to 2.82 million at the end of the first half of this year.
The proportion of high-growth companies in the UK has also shown an impressive increase, from 17.4% in 2011 to 20.5% in 2012. This means that one in five of these companies can now be defined as high-growth. Read the full report to see how we have defined ‘high growth’ companies.
The report also gives a fascinating breakdown of the activity across the regions of the UK and provides a revealing look at which regions make a vital contribution to its economic growth. If you are interested in which two Scottish cities outside the South East are included in the top ten cities with highest start-up rates in 2011, then it is worth reading the full report. Similarly the report reveals which part of the UK attracts the highest value of angel investment, second only to London and the South East.
At BGF, we recognise that these types of businesses are an integral part of the economic recovery and through a deeper understanding the entrepreneurial talent in the UK, we can better provide the right finance and networks to help their continued growth and development.
The report, hosted on the Barclays Wealth website, also features interviews with BGF CEO Stephen Welton and Richard Phelps, Managing Director, Barclays Wealth and Investment Management.
The full BGF and Barclays Entrepreneurs Index can be read here.
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.
Better Bathrooms crowned winners at the eCommerce Awards of Excellence 2013
BGF portfolio company and the UK’s largest independent bathroom and tile retailer, Better Bathrooms, took home the prestigious Best Home and Garden Retailer prize sponsored by Retail Focus at the eCommerce Awards for Excellence 2013.
The awards are a key event in the eCommerce calendar and within the Best Home and Garden Retailer category, Better Bathrooms went head to head with Victoria Plumb, Just Fabrics and World Stores.
The eCommerce Awards for Excellence in partnership with V.me by Visa and in association with IMRG, returned for its 5th year to celebrate excellence and innovation in ecommerce. Taking place alongside eCommerce Expo, both events combine to provide the annual networking event for the industry. The awards took place at the Marriot Hotel, Grosvenor Square and were an entertaining evening in the company of leading brands and influential figures in eCommerce today.
Founder Colin Stevens revealed: “I am so excited we have won an eCommerce Award for Excellence – this prize shows how much the business has achieved over the past 12 years and how important eCommerce is. The entire team are so proud of our achievements to date, and our constant ambition generates the motivation to reach greater accomplishments.”