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Bridges’ Evergreen permanent capital vehicle tops GBP50m


Bridges Fund Management (Bridges), a specialist sustainable and impact investor, has completed a second fundraise for Bridges Evergreen Holdings (Evergreen), its permanent capital vehicle, hitting its GBP50 million target three months ahead of schedule. 

Evergreen is a new kind of investment vehicle, designed specifically to be a long-term partner for ambitious mission-led organisations. By providing a permanent source of capital, as well as hands-on strategic and operational support, Evergreen supports the growth of these organisations and enables them to increase their impact over a longer time-frame – helping to tackle entrenched social challenges at scale. It launched in December 2016, with initial commitments of GBP23 million.
 
This latest fundraise attracted commitments from a range of institutional and private investors, including Big Society Capital, the UK’s independent social investment wholesaler. Over 90 per cent of the new capital raised came from existing LPs.
 
Evergreen seeks to partner with profit-with-purpose companies, social sector organisations, public sector spin-outs and employee-owned businesses. It has made three investments to date: New Reflexions, a residential care provider for young people with emotional and social difficulties; Shaw Healthcare, one of the UK’s leading providers of residential and nursing care for the elderly; and The Ethical Housing Company, a new venture to acquire a portfolio of well-maintained, affordable homes for rent to vulnerable people in Teesside.
 
Scott Greenhalgh, executive chair of Bridges Evergreen Holdings, says: “We’re delighted to have completed a second capital raise for Evergreen. The fact that we have been able to attract new investors, while also securing additional support from our existing backers, is testament to the distinctiveness of the Evergreen proposition. Our approach is proving attractive to mission-led management teams looking for a long-term, mission-aligned investment partner, giving us an interesting pipeline of new investment opportunities. This means our investors can access an attractive financial yield while also making a difference to entrenched social challenges, from housing to social care.”
 
Evergreen complements Bridges’ Sustainable Growth Funds, which invest in growth businesses that are helping to tackle pressing social and environmental challenges. Evergreen utilises the same key impact themes, the same challenge-led approach to origination, and the same impact management methodology - but it allows for a longer-term partnership, without the same requirement for exit. It also builds on the lessons of the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund, one of the first funds in the world designed specifically for investment in social businesses.

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