Vysiion Group, a leading UK Communications infrastructure and outsourced IT service provider received £4m of growth capital from BGF in March 2015 to support its growth strategy.
The business, formerly known as RFL Communications, used BGF’s funding to acquire Chippenham based IT Solutions 4 Business Limited and Plymouth based Zantra Technology. In doing so it strengthened the management team thereby providing the group with a significantly enhanced capability to deliver IT outsourcing solutions. The combined group employs 90 staff, predominantly in the South West of England.
Chippenham based RFL Communications provides high security communication systems and solutions, primarily to the power industry, ITS delivers IT infrastructure and IT support services, and Zantra provides consultancy and support for SMEs undertaking IT outsourcing projects. The three businesses that comprise Vysiion Group will grow their existing revenue streams but the enlarged group focuses on larger local and central government contracts, a growing market that its combined resources are ideally suited to service.
The group was founded by successful South West entrepreneur Bruce Brain. The Vysiion group’s acquisitions fulfilled Brain’s objective of creating a significant IT services provider that can take advantage of the large and rapidly growing Public and Private sector market for infrastructure and outsourced IT space. Government is proactively looking to award contracts to smaller and medium sized businesses in the UK with a view to driving the economy and obtaining better value for money.
To deliver these initiatives, the G-Cloud system was developed, allowing various public sector departments to search for approved service providers, thus simplifying the procurement process significantly and providing an even playing field for SMEs to compete. Having launched in April 2012, G-Cloud spend has grown significantly with the latest data to November 2014 showing continued monthly growth in spend, with a total £394m spent to date.
Sarah is responsible for the origination, execution and management of investments in South & South West England. Based in the Reading office, Sarah focuses on the counties of Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset. She also works with the board of certain investee companies to achieve their growth ambitions.
Sarah joined BGF in June 2014 from LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group where she was in the Thames Valley investment team. Prior to this, she spent 9 years at Lloyds Banking Group in a range of senior roles in the corporate bank, including restructuring mid-market and global corporate debt.
Sarah graduated from University College London in 2003 with a degree in Human Sciences, specialising in genetics, biochemistry and psychology. A keen sportswoman, Sarah was a member of the British rowing squad between 1996 and 2003, representing her country at the World U23 Regatta. She now does some recreational running, but prefers holidays and good food.
Latest investments/Board positions:
- Adestra (Board Observer)
- Benefex (Board Director)
- Vysiion (Board Observer)
- Primrose (Board Observer)
BGF continues to build team in the South West
BGF has appointed Sarah Ledwidge as an Investment Manager, based in its Bristol office.
Sarah is responsible for identifying investable local businesses in Hampshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire and the Thames Valley, and working with them to achieve their growth plans. Sarah’s appointment brings BGF’s Bristol-based regional investment team to 9 people.
Sarah’s appointment follows recent growth capital investments of £4m into Corsham and Farnborough-based Skyscape Cloud Services Limited, the leading provider of cloud infrastructure services to the UK public sector, in April 2014 and £2m into Abbey Pharma (trading as Intrapharm Laboratories), the specialist pharmaceutical company in August 2014.
With extensive experience in credit, restructuring, investing and portfolio management, Sarah joined BGF following a 12 month secondment at LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group. Based in both London and Reading, Sarah was an Investment Manager in the New Business Investment Team, originating and transacting a number of deals across multiple sectors. Prior to this, she spent 9 years at Lloyds Banking Group in a range of corporate business banking functions.
Sarah graduated from University College London in 2003 before joining Lloyds as a graduate in its Group Risk and Group Audit business. A keen sportswoman, Sarah was a member of the British rowing squad between 1996 and 2003, representing her country at the World U23 Regatta.
Paul Oldham, Regional Director for the South West and South Wales commented:
“We are delighted to welcome Sarah to the team. BGF has enjoyed a really good six months and we are talking with more exciting companies than ever. Sarah’s extensive experience in investing in a range of businesses of all sizes and sectors will be invaluable. At BGF we like to be close to the businesses we back and we are particularly keen to build our presence in the Thames Valley and Hampshire where we know that there are many growing businesses that can benefit from BGF’s growth capital and support. Sarah’s appointment will give us a significant boost to our coverage here.”
The BGF team now totals 100 people across its 7 offices and has invested over £300m in over 60 companies across the UK.
BGF has invested over £41m in the South West, Wales and Thames Valley to date. These nine businesses are drawn from oil and gas manufacturing, online retail, technology manufacturing, software, consumer goods and construction sectors.