BGF H1 results highlight importance of growth economy during lockdown

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BGF’s total H1 investment stands at GBP177 million, including GBP128 million into new portfolio companies and GBP49 million into existing portfolio companies.

BGF backed 24 new companies in the first half of 2020, while completing eight exits. Some of its latest deals include British ceramics manufacturing company Emma Bridgewater, Bayfield and AIM-listed The City Pub Group in London. 

“Covid-19 is already having a dramatic impact on the economy with growing unemployment and real concern about rising insolvencies as furlough ends and recessionary conditions hold sway,” said Stephen Welton, executive chairman at BGF.

“BGF as a business has maintained full employment and successfully operated remotely. That sadly will not be the case for much of the economy which is why ongoing investment activity is so crucial,” he added.

BGF’s eight exits in H1 generated an average money multiple of 2.1x and an aggregate IRR of 41 per cent, reflecting the underlying dynamism of the growth economy, according to BGF. The average investment holding period for H1 exits was 3.5 years and ranged from nine months to over six years.

The exits included four technology services and software companies: Miss Group, Vysiion, Solid Solutions and AIM-listed Castleton, and ecommerce retailer DOS, and returned GBP135 million from the GBP 66 million invested. BGF fully wrote down investments in three companies during this period.

On the digital side, recipe box subscription service Gousto received its seventh round of BGF funding. Trouva topped this year’s Start Ups 100 – which lists Deliveroo, Monzo and Revolut in its alumni, and the World Economic Forum named Streetbees in its 100 Technology Pioneers 2020.

“BGF has experienced an impressive investment run rate which has continued at pace throughout lockdown. We are anticipating a strong third quarter, with a number of new deals - including investments in life sciences and clean tech - progressing well,” said Andy Gregory, head of investments, UK & Ireland BGF.