It was announced today that BGF will launch the largest ever growth capital fund dedicated to Irish small and medium-sized companies. The fund which will have up to €250 million to invest is backed initially by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (‘ISIF’), AIB, Bank of Ireland and BGF’s existing shareholders.
BGF, set up in 2011, is now the UK’s most active investor in growing businesses and has backed more scale up companies in that market than any other investor. In Ireland, BGF has similar ambitions to influence the funding landscape and will provide long-term equity investments to small and mid-sized businesses planning to scale up their operations.
BGF provides initial investments of between €2 million and €10 million in return for a minority stake, with additional funding to investee companies as needed. The businesses it backs typically turn over between €5 million and €100 million a year and have a strong management team in place.
The fund will be run by a new, dedicated BGF team based on Merrion Square in central Dublin. Leo Casey, Former Director and board member with IBI Corporate Finance, will lead the team which on day one comprises David Gammie, Joe Higgins and Maedhbh O’Driscoll, and which BGF will expand further in 2018.
Speaking today, Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe said, "As SMEs are such a critical component of Ireland’s economy I welcome today’s historic announcement by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), and BGF along with AIB and Bank of Ireland of the largest ever growth capital fund dedicated to Irish SMEs."
He added, "Access to finance is crucial in all businesses and Irish SMEs looking to grow will now have access to a significant long-term, patient capital investor with funding of up €250 million available. In line with ISIF’s mandate, I welcome this development as a driver of economic growth and job creation in this key sector of our economy."