As the North East economy continues on a reassuring upward trend, an investment company which last year announced a £100m pot for assisting UK businesses, has allocated a significant portion of its funds to expanding firms in the region.
NVM Private Equity is reporting strong levels of activity from its Northern offices following a successful year that has seen them allocate more than £24m to five growing companies.
In June 2013, the Stockton-on-Tees based Cleveland Biotech received £3m of investment capital to take advantage of the growing demand for its environmentally friendly biological waste treatment products.
A month later, £7m was invested in the management buy-out of the Nelson-based upholstered furniture manufacturer, Buoyant Upholstery.
Early in 2014, then, It’s All Good, a Gateshead manufacturer of premium tortilla chips and other snacks, received £3.5m of development capital to help bring its products to the forefront of the UK grocery industry.
This month in particular has seen a notable flurry of activity for the generalist investor, beginning with the management buy-out of The fresh Group, a creative events agency, specialising in the UK retail and financial services industries
The £5.7m of investment was to help the existing management team continue to build the business from both its existing client relationships and by leveraging its expertise in the retail and financial services markets to attract new ones.
Manager director of fresh, Patrick Howell, said: “We’re delighted to be given the opportunity to complete the management buy-out, which is another positive step for the business and very fitting that we should achieve this in our 10th year.”
June has also seen NVM’s Northern investment team provide £5m for a management buy-out of the Aberdeen-based oil and gas technology business, Arnlea.
NVM, which has an office in Newcastle, has been investing in the North for nearly 30 years. Currently, 30% of its UK investee companies are headquartered in the region, across a wide range of sectors.
The investor responded to an increase in activity in the North by opening a new Manchester office, and with new appointments Andy Leach, Liam May and Karl Cockwill, who are helping to boost investment opportunities and manage NVM’s portfolio.
Mauro Biagioni, director of NVM for the North East and Yorkshire, said: “I have been part of the NVM team for 10 years and I believe this is the strongest the Northern M&A market has been for a long time.
“We have seen manufacturing reshoring back to the UK, as consumers opt for quality over cheap products and services.
“Entrepreneurialism and innovation is also increasingly being supported by both UK finance and Government. I believe this positive growth can only continue.”