BGF is an independent company with capital of up to £2.5 billion which is backed by five of the UK’s main banking groups - Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS and Standard Chartered. Founded by managing director Kevin Johnson in 1999, the Halifax-headquartered Northern Escalator Installations installs, refurbishes and repairs escalators.
Employing a team of 85 precision engineering and technical staff, the company’s recent work includes the escalator installation at Anfield Football Stadium in Liverpool and Paddington Station, as part of the London Crossrail Underground. The group generated revenues of more than £12m in 2017.
The group has offices in Germany and Sweden to service its growing European customer base.
Northern Escalators will use BGF’s funding to expand its services which, in addition to installation and maintenance, include storage, design and transportation work.
The business works closely with major escalator and lift manufacturers including Kone, Schindler, Otis and ThyssenKrupp, and is well placed to capitalise on the increase in commercial and transport infrastructure projects.
As part of the investment, Stuart Black joins the company as non-executive chair following an introduction by BGF.
In recent months, BGF has backed Yorkshire-based, Filmore & Union, a restaurant and deli chain, and provided further investment to the Leeds-headquartered, Nationwide Window Cleaning.
The investment was led for BGF by Chris Boyes, Rob Johnson and Richard Taylor. Legal advice was provided to BGF by Steven Millward and Jessica Fielden of Schofield Sweeney. Andy Haigh and Tim Brind of BHP (corporate finance) and Jonathan Simms and Alex Birch of Clarion (legal) provided advice to Northern Escalator Installations.
BGF provides growth capital to small and mid-sized businesses. The companies it backs are privately-owned or listed on AIM (the Alternative Investment Market), and typically have revenues of between £5m and £100m. BGF makes initial investments of between £2m to £10m.