Richard joined BGF in July 2012 and is based in Leeds. His main role is to identify and successfully execute investments for the fund. He also sits on the board of a number of our portfolio companies.
Richard has 16 years’ experience in small company investing with previous roles at YFM, Octopus Private Equity and Sovereign Capital. He began his career at Deloitte where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant following three years at York University where he studied Economics and Economic History.
He is married with three children and lives in Leeds. At weekends Richard runs a free taxi service for his children around which he fits in time to play, watch and coach the beautiful game that is football.
Latest investments/Board positions:
- Total Recycling Services (Board Observer)
- Altec Engineering
- Cussins (Board Director)
- J&B Recycling (Board Director)
- Springfield Healthcare Group (Board Director)
- York Mailing (Board Director)
- Xercise4Less (Board Director)
- VTL Group
- Ultra Finishing (Board Director)
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.”
Barburrito opens in Paddington Train Station
Award-winning burrito independent Barburrito opens its seventh outlet in Paddington Train Station on March 22nd 2013.
Fiona Thomson of Network Rail commented “The fast-casual dinning experience offered by Barburrito was the perfect fit for our high footfall station that welcomes over 50 million people annually”.
The 560sqft unit in the Lawn area of the station builds on the established Barburrito brand with contemporary seating and interiors designed by London based interior design company Caulder Moore.
As part of its calculated expansion plans for the UK, Chairman Colin Hughes (formally Head of Retail Operations at EAT and Pret A Manger) reveals his excitement about the London opening; “I am delighted that we have established our first Barburrito in the capital. Our recent £3.25 million investment from the Business Growth Fund will enable us to take the UK’s first burrito business into many locations across London.”
The company, co-founded and headed by former management consultants Morgan Davies and Paul Kilpatrick, additionally operate stores in Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds and is currently experiencing 18% like-for-like growth YTD.
Davies quotes: “Having opened the UK’s first burrito bar back in 2005 in Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens, we are delighted to have opened our London operation in such a high profile location. Paddington Station is a London icon and the perfect platform for our forthcoming expansion in the capital.
The UK burrito race is now on and, with a growing national presence, Barburrito is well positioned to achieve our mission, to be the most loved burrito brand in the UK.”
The new Paddington Station store has created a further 20 jobs within the company who now employs over 120 staff. As a result of the BGF expansion, Barburrito expect to create approximately 250 new jobs over the next 3-4 years.
BOOST JUICE BARS
UK juice bar chain receives £2.5m boost from BGF
Manchester-based Boost Juice Bars UK (Boost) is a growing chain of retail stores specialising in the sale of freshly made smoothies and juices. Boost currently operates ten stores across the UK including Manchester’s Trafford Centre and Piccadilly train station, London’s Westfield White City and Westfield Stratford, Meadowhall Sheffield and Bristol’s Cribbs Causeway. Operating in the fast growing wellness category, Boost provides a healthy alternative to soft drinks, on-the-go meals and sweets. Nutritional and health advantages provided by juices and smoothies remain key growth drivers for the smoothie bar market.
Boost was founded in Adelaide by Janine Allis in 2003 and has nearly 200 sites throughout Australia alone. Its continued global expansion sees Boost Juice Bars now successfully operating in over 20 other countries including South Africa, Chile, Estonia, Germany, Kuwait, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, India, China and Russia. Boost was established in the UK in 2007 when Richard and Dawn O’Sullivan, the team behind Millies Cookies acquired the rights to exclusively operate Boost Juice Bars in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Six years on from its first opening, Boost in Manchester’s Trafford Centre continues to be one of the top 3 performing Boost Juice Bars from more than 280 stores now operating around the world. In the financial year ended September 2012 the business generated turnover of £4m.
Richard and Dawn O’Sullivan along with Chairman Bill Holroyd and Finance Director Martin Burrill were the team behind Millie’s Cookies, which grew to over 100 stores before its successful sale to Compass Group in June 2003 for £24m.Richard O’Sullivan has been the non-executive Chairman of Barburrito, a chain of fast-casual Mexican restaurants for the last four years. Barburrito, already sitting within the BGF portfolio, was the first business based in the North of England to receive BGF funding earlier this year.
In December 2012, BGF invested £2.5m in Boost and took a minority stake with Andy Gregory joining the board. BGF’s investment will help accelerate the company’s roll-out programme to grow its existing store portfolio of 10 stores to around 40 stores over the next 3 years.
SPRINGFIELD HEALTHCARE GROUP
Largest independent provider of domiciliary care in Yorkshire and Humberside receives £4.4 million boost
Springfield Healthcare Group is the largest independent provider of domiciliary care in Yorkshire and Humberside and is led by Yorkshire based Group Chairman, Graeme Lee. Springfield was established in 1967 as a single family-run care home and has since grown steadily, now providing care to nearly 2,000 clients each day.
Springfield has secured two investments totaling £4.4 million from Business Growth Fund (BGF), which was established to help the UK’s fast growing smaller and medium sized businesses. These equity investments have been made into two businesses within the Springfield Healthcare Group; Springfield Homecare and Seacroft Care Village.
£2.5 million of BGF’s funds will be invested into Springfield Homecare, which delivers personal care to elderly people in their own homes. It was founded in Leeds in 1998 and now is an approved credited provider with seven Local Authorities in Leeds, Wakefield, Hull, East Riding, York, North Yorkshire, and Sheffield.
Springfield is known for its high quality of care and long term commitment to staff training. BGF’s investment will allow the business to expand its geographical reach and to increase the number of hours of care that it can provide to service users whether it be private, local authority or in the form of a direct payment or personalized budget.
The remaining £1.9m has been committed to Seacroft Care Village, to be used alongside existing funds to develop a purpose-built facility situated in the Seacroft area of Leeds. Seacroft Care Village will offer its residents independence and choice as well as flexible, individualised care. The Care Village will offer a full range of care options from aspirational day care, residential, dementia and nursing care, combining with private independent living apartments; the facility will provide 96 beds and offer 24-hour personal care across the care spectrum from “light touch” day-centre service through to intensive end of life care.
The investments in Springfield Homecare and Seacroft Care Village are the third and fourth investments that BGF’s Manchester based team has made in two months, following its backing of Mexican food chain Barburrito in April and Northern pub chain Wear Inns in May.
The advisers to the transaction were Park Place Corporate Finance, Watson Burton (lawyers to Springfield) and Sagars (accountants to Springfield), Squire Sanders (lawyers to BGF) and BDO (accountants to BGF).
HSBC are bankers to Seacroft Care Village, and NatWest are bankers to Springfield Homecare.
Northern Pub Group Toasts £10M Equity Investment
Founded in 2006 by local entrepreneurs John Weir (CEO) and John Sands (Chairman), Wear Inns focuses on the acquisition and management of freehold community pubs across the North East and Yorkshire. The estate currently comprises 15 sites, including The Townhouse in Whitley Bay, Millstone in Gosforth, Black Bull in East Boldon, Cross Keys in Washington, Guidepost in Springwell, New Inn in Durham, Priory in York, New Inn in Wetherby, The Sun in Shipley and the Courthouse in Barnsley. Wear Inns is headquartered in Billingham, County Durham, and currently employs 175 people. BGF and NVM’s £10m equity investment will enable Wear Inns to acquire further sites over the next few months, creating a further 40 new jobs, and provide flexibility for further acquisitions thereafter.
BGF and NVM Private Equity (NVM) has commited £10m of growth capital in acquisitive Northern pub chain, Wear Inns. BGF invested £8m for a minority stake in the business and will join the existing board.
NVM has backed Wear Inns from start-up and to this point has £4.2m of capital invested in the business. Since then, the company has built up an estate of 15 sites through regional and national acquisitions; from chains such as Mitchells and Butler, Spirit, TCG Inns, Barracuda Pubs and Bars, and Greene King. On average, Wear Inns has succeeded in improving the turnover of its pubs by c90% within six months of their acquisition and refurbishment. In the last three years, Wear Inns has trebled its sales with net revenues now totaling £7.3m and has achieved like for like sales growth of 7.2%. This is a second investment for BGF in the North of England within six weeks, following its backing of Manchester and Leeds based Mexican food chain, Barburrito, last month. It is also the second co-investment for BGF.
In recent years there has been a strong outperformance by the managed pub model where the company owns the freehold and employs its own staff, as adopted by Wear Inns. Chairman John Sands and MD John Weir who started the business in 2006 have significant experience in the Hospitality sector. Sands developed the Hartlepool based Pubmaster chain into one of the largest in the UK, selling the 3200 pub estate in 2003. John Weir was Retail Director for Bass/M&B, mainly responsible for the North East and North of England before joining John Sands at Pubmaster. Wear Inns was introduced to BGF by PWC.
The advisers to the transaction were KPMG (vendor due diligence), Watson Burton (lawyers to Wear Inns), Dickinson Dees (lawyers to NVM), and Addelshaw Goddard (lawyers to BGF).