Business Growth Fund Expands Regional Teams

UK-based Business Growth Fund has appointed Matt Widdall as a senior investment manager based in its Manchester office and Greg Norman as an investment manager in its Bristol office. They will be responsible for identifying investable local businesses and working with them to achieve their growth plans.


Business Growth Fund (BGF), established to help the UK’s growing businesses, has appointed Matt Widdall as a Senior Investment Manager based in its Manchester office; and Greg Norman as an Investment Manager in its Bristol office. They will be responsible for identifying investable local businesses and working with them to achieve their growth plans.
These appointments follow BGF’s recent investments in children’s travel products business, Trunki, in April 2013; in bathroom retailer, Better Bathrooms, in June 2013; and in retail printer, York Mailing, in July 2013.
With 15 years of experience in the corporate finance marketplace, Matt Widdall joins BGF from Lloyds Acquisition Finance where he was a Director. Based in Manchester, he focused on the origination and execution of leverage debt opportunities in the UK private equity market. Prior to this, he spent 12 years in the corporate finance advisory team at Deloitte, 4 as a Director.
Matt graduated from Sheffield University in 1994 and then qualified as a chartered accountant with the ICAEW. Matt is a former county tennis player and football player and enjoys golf, rugby, mountain biking and running.
Greg Norman joins BGF from RBS where he was a Director in the Structured Finance division. Based in Reading, he focused on the origination and execution of private equity backed and corporate transactions across multiple sectors. Prior to this, he spent 3 years in the bank’s Large Corporate Banking teams in both Southampton and Gatwick.
Greg graduated from the University of Southampton in 2002 before joining Natwest as a graduate in its retail banking business. A keen skier and snowboarder, Greg also enjoys rugby, yacht sailing and the repair and maintenance of cars and motorbikes.
Richard Bishop, Head of Investments at BGF, commented:
“These are fantastic additions to our regional teams based in the North of England and the South West and South Wales.
Both Matt and Greg have considerable experience in dealing with a range of businesses of all sizes and sectors and the relationships that they have built in the process will be a huge asset to us. Our recent investments are indicative of the exciting and entrepreneurial businesses that are present across the UK and our regional network is absolutely key to finding those business and supporting them with growth capital investment.”
The BGF team now totals more than 80 people across its 7 offices and has invested over £150m in 29 companies across the UK.
For further press information please contact:
Emily Weston, Equity Dynamics – 07825 326 442
Notes to editors:
About Business Growth Fund:
Business Growth Fund has been established to help Britain’s growing businesses. Growth potential is the key criteria. BGF will invest between £2m and £10m per business in return for a minority 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 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.
Key facts and figures:
80 people at 7 offices across six UK regions
Approximately £150 million of growth capital invested in 29 companies from 17 sectors
3,364 people currently employed by BGF backed companies
Targeting investment of c. £150- 200 million in 2013
More than money for investee businesses, for example BGF has placed 21 highly experienced non-executive chairman and non-executives.