BGF, THE UK and Ireland’s most active investor in growing businesses experienced a year of growth across its Scottish portfolio in 2019, having invested more than £280m to date to support the region’s most ambitious entrepreneurs.
BGF provides patient capital to small and medium-sized businesses in exchange for a minority, non-controlling equity stake, and to date has made 33 investments in Scotland since it was set up in 2011, committing almost £20m in 2019 alone to back local companies accelerating growth.
2019 investments included Window Supply Company, (WSC), which manufactures PVCu and aluminium windows, doors and conservatories to supply builders, joiners and window installation companies across Scotland. The Livingston-based company will use BGF’s £2m investment to scale the business further on the back of significant customer demand.
Waracle, one of the UK’s largest mobile apps and digital products developers, also received funding from BGF in 2019. The business represents BGF’s first investment in Dundee and the £4.8m funding will be used to help support expansion plans both domestically and internationally.
Many of BGF’s existing portfolio companies in Scotland celebrated growth throughout 2019. Parklands Group, BGF’s first investment in the Inverness and Moray area in 2018, had a productive year, using part of BGF’s £5m investment to develop a 40-bed care facility in Fortrose, which is set to open in Summer 2020.
Fancy dress supplier MorphCostumes, the business behind the Morphsuit, also experienced strong growth, reporting revenues of £12.4m for 2018, compared to £9.3m in 2017. The business is expecting e-commerce sales to almost double following its acquisition of Fun Shack earlier in 2019.
Having secured £4m investment from BGF in 2018, Walker Precision Engineering, which supplies components to the defence, aerospace and space markets, also maintained its strong performance. The company announced two high profile board appointments, with Amanda Robertson joining as Commercial Director and Paul Carnie becoming Finance Director.
Mike Sibson, head of BGF’s Aberdeen team, said: “This has been a solid year for BGF and a successful one for our portfolio companies. They represent an encouraging, diverse and dynamic group of businesses that, with funding and support, have been able to forge ahead and take advantage of opportunities in the market.
“We’re continuing to grow our portfolio and meet more ambitious companies in the country that are ready to go for growth and accelerate. We’re looking forward to 2020 and continuing to support businesses with the long-term capital and support they need to realise their potential.”
Patrick Graham, Head of Central Scotland and Northern Ireland at BGF, said: “BGF has a diverse and growing portfolio of companies with big growth ambitions and we are continuing to find exciting new opportunities to back founders whose businesses have real potential to scale up.
“We are cognisant of the fact that all sectors of the economy are operating in an uncertain environment, but Scotland’s entrepreneurial businesses have proved time and again that they are not only resilient but also keen to forge ahead. We look forward to being able to support more businesses to go for growth and reach their potential in 2020.”