Maven Capital Partners (Maven) has been appointed to manage two separate fund entities as part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) initiative, with GBP50 million in the West Midlands and GBP40 million in the East & South East Midlands.
Maven has a long established record of working with advisers and SMEs across the Midlands, and has made a number of significant investments in recent years. In addition to the existing team operating out of Birmingham, Maven’s regional presence will be further strengthened with the opening of an East Midlands office during the next few weeks, and Maven is currently in the process of making a number of key local appointments to the Midlands investment team. This additional resource will support Maven in deploying MEIF funds and ensure that Maven executives can provide comprehensive coverage and work with SMEs across the full MEIF area.
Maven also already manages a number of similar regional debt or equity mandates across the UK, and offers a wealth of experience within its nationwide team which provides additional expertise in support of the launch of this fund.
MEIF – Maven Debt Finance is part of the wider GBP250million MEIF package operated by the British Business Bank, GBP120million of which is now available to support growing SMEs. The fund is focused on providing finance to high-potential businesses located across both the West Midlands and the East & South East Midlands regions, where it can offer funding of between GBP100,000 and GBP1.5 million to each SME. The fund will invest across the ten Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas: Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire, Greater Birmingham & Solihull, The Marches, Stoke & Staffordshire and Worcestershire in the West Midlands; and Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham & Nottinghamshire (D2N2), Greater Lincolnshire, Leicester & Leicestershire and South East Midlands in the East & South East Midlands.
MEIF was announced in the March 2016 Budget, and is a partnership between the British Business Bank (BBB) and Midlands LEPs, with the aim of boosting the region’s economy and supporting the growth ambitions of its smaller businesses. Maven Capital Partners UK LLP has been appointed to manage the Debt Fund across both West Midlands and East & South East Midlands regions, targeting businesses with an operational trading base in the region and a strategy for growth.
Across the territory covered by MEIF many viable, dynamic SMEs, with innovative products and services, strong business plans and highly capable management teams, are struggling to access the funding that will allow them to develop their businesses and market offering. MEIF is looking to address this, with a particular focus on supporting the growth aspirations of high-potential SMEs that can contribute to regional economic development, job creation and innovation. Its objective is to produce greater levels of investment in smaller businesses, and increased flexibility in the type of funding available to those businesses.
The Maven team has been one of the UK’s most active SME investors since 2004, on behalf of a range of client funds. With a long-established regional team already operating across the MEIF areas, and supported by a UK wide office network, and a number of new investment executive appointments currently in process, Maven is well resourced to provide the necessary support to MEIF portfolio companies, both in terms of the initial investment process and ongoing support as those businesses grow.
Patrick Magee, Chief Commercial Officer at the British Business Bank, says: “The Midlands Engine Investment Fund will build relationships with the region’s diverse small business community, through its appointed fund managers and its own relationship managers. MEIF will play a pivotal role in plugging the gaps currently present in the funding landscape, seeking to ensure that all businesses have access to the finance they need to grow. Maven will have an instrumental role in the successful allocation of the fund, and we’re looking forward to working with the team to mobilise fast-growth businesses across the region.”
Andrew Ferguson (pictured), Partner, Maven Capital Partners UK LLP, says: “Maven has many years’ experience of investing in and supporting SMEs across the Midlands. We are one of the UK’s most experienced and active private equity fund managers, and are delighted to be working with the British Business Bank to deliver the objectives of the MEIF. The Midlands has a deserved reputation as being a key driver in UK economic growth and producing innovative smaller businesses, and there remains a clear need for this type of funding to help high-growth Midlands SMEs fulfil their potential. Our MEIF Debt Fund team is very much looking forward to working in partnership alongside Midlands SMEs.”
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank. The initiative is also supported by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as well as ten Local Enterprise Partnerships across the region’s geography.