BGF Hires Head of Portfolio

UK-based Business Growth Fund has appointed John Swarbrick as head of portfolio. He will be joining immediately to play a key role in overseeing BGF’s rapidly growing portfolio of high growth entrepreneurial businesses. Business Growth Fund was set up to help Britain’s smaller and medium sized businesses

PRESS RELEASE

Business Growth Fund (“BGF”), established to help the UK’s fast growing smaller and medium sized businesses, today announced the appointment of John Swarbrick as its Head of Portfolio. He will be joining immediately to play a key role in overseeing BGF’s rapidly growing portfolio of high growth entrepreneurial businesses.

Stephen Welton, Chief Executive of BGF said:

“We are delighted that John is joining BGF. He brings with him a wealth of experience from his 15 years with LDC, a firm with a great and long-standing track record of successfully investing in the UK, and from his time in industry before that.

“This appointment completes our senior team and as the pace of our new investment activity continues to increase, we will have further resource available to make positive contributions to our investee companies as they grow and flourish. The ability to support our portfolio companies with additional investment over the longer term is an integral part of BGF’s approach, and key to help build the bigger British businesses of tomorrow”

John has a strong track record of investing in the UK mid-market and, over the course of his career, has sat on a wide variety of SME boards. Prior to joining LDC and heading up its Leeds office, he was finance director of a private equity backed textile group. John began his career as a corporate finance advisor with PwC.

The appointment has been made with the full support of John’s current employers, LDC. He will continue working for LDC in a part time capacity until the end of 2013, supporting John Garner who has been appointed as LDC’s new director in charge of its Leeds Office. He will also retain responsibility for a number of LDC’s investments in Yorkshire and the North East.

Darryl Eales, LDC’s Chief Executive, said:

“John has been a loyal, long serving member of the LDC team. We are delighted that John Garner will have John around to help him with a smooth transition into the Yorkshire and North East markets. This arrangement is also testament to the strong working relationship between LDC and BGF. Our two organisations are complementary in nature and we have in common a passionate commitment to the UK regional markets and a fully supportive shareholder in Lloyds Banking Group.”

John will split his time between BGF’s current six offices helping the Regional Directors and their teams to make a positive contribution to investee companies. He will also be part of the senior team monitoring investment quality and resource allocation, as well as a member of the Investment Committee.

John Swarbrick commented:

“I am delighted to be joining BGF at this exciting time. Stephen and his team have created a superb business, which has achieved tremendous momentum in a short space of time. We anticipate that this rapid growth will continue and there will be plenty of work to do to provide the level of support that BGF backed businesses deserve.

“The transitional arrangements that LDC has agreed are testament to the relationship based approach upon which we pride ourselves.

“I think both LDC and BGF have strong futures ahead and their collective commitment to the regional markets is central to their current and future successes. I am proud to be associated with both organisations and delighted to continue to be working with entrepreneurial businesses that are looking to grow over the next five to ten years.”

Ends

Contacts:

Business Growth Fund:

Emily Weston, Equity Dynamics – 07825 326 442

emily@equitydynamics.co.uk

LDC:

Martin Currie, Citypress – 07976 291532

martin.currie @citypress.co.uk

About Business Growth Fund:

Business Growth Fund has been established to help Britain’s fast growing smaller and medium sized businesses. Growth potential is the key criteria. BGF will invest between £2m and £10m per business in return for a minimum 10 per cent equity stake and a seat on the board for a BGF director. BGF will provide long-term equity investment for those growing companies that today do not have access to this source of capital. As such BGF hopes to be a catalyst for growth among smaller UK companies.

BGF is currently one of the most active investors of long-term growth capital in the UK with its investment in fast growing companies totaling nearly £100 million to date.

BGF is an independent company with capital of up to £2.5 billion, backed by five of the UK’s main banking groups – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS, and Standard Chartered. BGF is managed completely autonomously with an independent management team.

BGF is one of a range of initiatives designed to forge a new relationship between the banking sector and UK businesses, and BGF works in close collaboration with the British Bankers’ Association as well as other key business organisations across the UK.

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