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Thursday 19 July 2018

Investment firm BGF targets Irish market

BGF has potentially up to €250m to invest in Irish SMEs
BGF has potentially up to €250m to invest in Irish SMEs
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Investment firm BGF is entering the Irish market, joining forces with Ulster Bank, the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), AIB and Bank of Ireland to support small and medium businesses (SMEs).

The UK-based group initially launched in Ireland last November, and has now added Ulster Bank to the list of institutions backing its investment initiative.

Ulster Bank, through its relationship with RBS, and ISIF have committed additional capital to BGF’s long-term investment vehicle, which has potentially up to €250m to invest in Irish SMEs.

"Since our launch in November we have built a highly professional team and have met with individual businesses and business advisors from across the country to outline our offering," Leo Casey, head of Republic of Ireland, BGF said.

"We are in a unique position as the only equity investor to have the backing of the three major Irish banks. Importantly, we have an increased pool of money to invest and we will now look to build relationships across a wider network of promising businesses across the country."

In Ireland, BGF will make initial investments of between €1m and €10m, with further funding available in subsequent rounds, into earlier-stage and established companies across every sector, the company said.

The companies it backs will typically have revenues between €5m and €100m.

In the UK, BGF has invested in more than 220 UK-headquartered since 2011.

Commenting on the announcement, Eddie Cullen, MD of Ulster Bank’s commercial banking division, said that RBS has been involved with BGF in the UK since it began in 2011 and it is "delighted" now to lend its support to BGF in Ireland.

"Ulster Bank offers sectoral expertise and support to businesses across Ireland so it made sense for us, through our relationship with RBS, to be part of the BGF here as we continue to help companies expand and fulfil their ambitions," Mr Cullen said.

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