A family owned housebuilder has become the first company in Northern Ireland to secure investment from BGF.
For more than 40 years, Braidwater has been designing and building high quality two to five bed family homes across Northern Ireland, with a strong focus on design and building efficiency. The business is run by founder and Executive Chairman Patrick McGinnis and his son, Managing Director Joe McGinnis.
The growth capital investment will be used to support the development of residential properties across existing sites and provide Braidwater with long term strength to deliver on its commitments, helping it to address the shortage of new build houses in Northern Ireland. Four developments are currently underway at Bedford Meadows, Antrim, Drenagh Park, Limavady, Leighinmohr Crescent, Ballymena and Fort Manor, Dundonald, with two more projects due to commence shortly.
Mike Stansfield, former CEO of David Wilson Homes, has been appointed by Braidwater as an independent Non-Executive Chairman following an introduction made by BGF. Paddy Graham, BGF investor, and Ciaran McGivern, former Head of Business Banking with Bank of Ireland NI, will also join the board of the company. Following the deal, Braidwater’s social housing division will become a separate family company, BW Limited, which will continue to undertake project management and construction in the social housing sector.
One of Scotland’s largest manufacturers of PVCu and aluminium windows, doors and conservatories – Stevenswood – is expanding its production capacity and network of trade counters across the country thanks to a £3.5m investment of growth capital from BGF.
The £11m turnover business, which manufactures more than 1,000 windows and doors per week, currently sells its bespoke manufactured products through its trade counters in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Kilmarnock, Dundee and at its headquarters in Livingston.
The £3.5m investment from BGF will see Stevenswood open additional trade counters across Scotland, as well as expanding its kitchen operations to meet the growing demand for its quality products.
BGF took a minority stake in Stevenswood with Patrick Graham joining the board as investor director. The board has been bolstered with the appointment of David Pearson as chairman and Murray McGarvie as finance director.
Pearson brings extensive experience of working with institutionally backed manufacturing businesses. He is the current chairman of Nenplas Ltd and DPP Ltd. In his earlier career, David was the group commercial director of Focus Wickes.
McGarvie is an experienced finance director with a proven track record in both manufacturing and retail businesses.
The Livingston-based business was founded in 1997 by the current managing director Ron Hepburn and his now retired business partner Dave Flynn, initially focussing on the installation of windows and doors. It was the first company in Scotland to offer 70mm fully sculptured frames that are now the industry standard.
The strategic recruitment of director Duncan Murray in the year 2000 moved the direction of the business to focus on manufacturing its own products. During the last decade it has invested more than £1.6m in a new site and state-of-the-art machinery. All manufacturing now takes place at its industrial facilities on a five-acre site in Houston Industrial Estates in Livingston.
In February 2014, BGF backed Jumpstart, the Edinburgh-based company created to support UK businesses make successful HMRC Research and Development (R&D) Tax Relief claims.
The investment in Jumpstart is supporting the company’s further growth across the UK through the expansion of its in-house sales, marketing and delivery functions and a strengthening of the management team. It also bolstered the Board with the appointment of Jim Faulds as Chairman and David Evans as Non-Executive Director.
Jim brings extensive experience of working with institutionally backed businesses. He is the current Chairman of Change Recruitment and WRG Creative Communication. In his earlier career, Jim founded the Faulds Group, which became the largest marketing services group outside London. David joined the board to assist Jumpstart in forming partnerships with UK-based accountancy firms. He was the former UK Senior Partner at accountancy and business advisory firm, Mazars, and has a broad network of contacts within the UK accountancy market.
Helping companies claim R&D Tax Relief is a service perceived traditionally by the business community as one within the domain of accountancy firms. Jumpstart, however, has brought to the market a unique, tailored approached marked by the recruitment of sector-specific technical analysts with credible industry experience and post-graduate research qualifications. In its relatively short history, the business has grown its client base to over 500 companies across all regions of the UK with a current order book exceeding £10m. However, with around 10,000 SMEs and 2,500 large companies currently claiming more than £1.1bn in R&D Tax Relief each year in the UK, there is significant scope for Jumpstart to continue its growth.
Dr Vince Cable visits BGF portfolio company M Squared Lasers
BGF portfolio company M Squared Lasers hosted Dr Vince Cable, the UK government minister responsible for Business Innovation and Skills during a visit to Glasgow on 8 January 2013.
During the visit Dr Cable toured the company headquarters and was shown some of the latest product development activity and also viewed the manufacturing facility.
The UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has funded 14 development projects that will explore potential uses of photonics technology in new manufacturing processes.
Worth £3.6 million overall, the support was announced by the UK government’s business secretary, Vince Cable, on a tour of Glasgow-based M Squared.
The money will fund a series of 18-month feasibility studies looking at the potential for new photonics techniques to be used in market sectors ranging from pharmaceuticals to electronics and security.
You can read more about the scheme here on the Optics.org website.
DUNCAN AND TODD
BGF invested in one of Scotland’s largest independent optical chains, Duncan & Todd (Group) Limited, in December 2013. BGF invested £5.6m to fund store acquisitions, increase manufacturing capability and support sales growth. Since our investment, the company has strengthened its management team, increased its retail footprint and invested circa £1m in its manufacturing facility. In February 2015, BGF provided an additional £3.5m of follow-on funding to support the acquisition of 20:20 Opticians, a six branch retail chain, which marks the company’s move into the Central Belt.
Duncan & Todd was established in 1973 and is one of Scotland’s largest independent optical chains with a turnover of over £10m and employing over 200 staff. It was the subject of a management buy-out in 2007 led by the current Managing Director Frances Duncan, who has been with the business for fast approaching 30 years. Duncan is a qualified dispensing optician with a deep understanding of the sector and has been instrumental in the successful growth of the chain.
The business operates in three divisions: Retail – offering the full patient journey from professional eye exams to eyewear purchases; Corporate – providing DSE compliance and safety eye care services for corporate customers; and Manufacturing – where the Group manufactures and coats spectacle lenses in its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.
The chain currently has 30 retail stores spread across cities and market towns in Scotland from St Andrews in Fife to Wick in Caithness, and is actively on the look-out for further acquisition opportunities.
At the time of our initial investment Bob Brannan joined the board as Chairman. Bob brings a wealth of experience in the consumer goods and service sectors. He is the current Chairman of Vets Now and the William Jackson Food Group. His former roles include being Chairman of Ben Sherman and group Managing Director of Whyte & Mackay. BGF Senior Investment Manager Patrick Graham was also appointed to the board. Since BGF’s initial investment, the management team has been further strengthened with the appointment of a Commercial Director and new Finance Director.
Oil and Gas software and services business set for growth with BGF investment
Petrotechnics is the global leader of software solutions to improve frontline operational performance and risk management in hazardous industries.
Based in Aberdeen and with offices in Houston, Saudi Arabia and Singapore, Petrotechnics was founded in 1990 and since then has pioneered proven solutions and successfully helped organizations in hazardous industries increase operational performance and improve risk management in the riskiest part of their operations.
Petrotechnics’ software solutions are used on a daily basis by more than 50,000 personnel from some of the biggest businesses in the oil and gas industry, including the three largest independent Oil & Gas Companies. Petrotechnics software is used in frontline operations across 385 sites on 6 continents. 80% of North Sea and 40% of Gulf of Mexico assets utilise Petrotechnics’ software to help manage their frontline operations safely and efficiently.
BGF’s £6m funding will help fuel the next stage in Petrotechnics’ growth strategy, enabling expansion into new geographies, recruitment of more people, and ongoing investment in the software products.
Petrotechnics’ enterprise software platform, ‘Proscient’, manages the execution of frontline work safely and efficiently to help organisations maintain the integrity of their assets, the safety of their workforce and the sustainable achievement of their production targets. This is a step change for the oil and gas industry, integrating safety, risk management, work planning and efficiency for the first time.
Proscient is designed to reduce the number and length of unplanned plant shutdowns, decrease permit and contractor wait times, more efficient turnarounds, significantly improve plan accuracy and plan attainment and engender a safety culture within an organisation.
Over the past five years the company has generated annual revenues in the range of £10-15 million and has employed more than 100 staff.
Before founding Petrotechnics, CEO Phil Murray worked internationally for BP for 10 years in a variety of technical, operational and managerial roles. The business has won a number of industry awards from organisations including winning the ‘Growth Strategy of the Year’ award at the European Business Awards in 2008.
BGF Investment Director Mike Sibson joined the Petrotechnics Board.
The advisers to the transaction were AAB, KPMG, Burness, Paull & Williamsons, Raeburns and Intuitus.