Private Equity firm Foresight Group launches £20m fund in Leeds targeting high growth SMEs

Private Equity giant Foresight Group is to launch a new £20m fund in the Leeds city region.

The group is to make debt and equity investments into the region as part of a wider bid to diversify into the regional marketplace.

Foresight will open an office in Leeds to support the move and will be focused in SMEs in the region that it believes have the best capacity for growth.

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Matt Smith, private equity partner at Foresight, told The Yorkshire Post: “We are very excited. We will be looking a broad range of sectors across healthcare, tech, services and consumer.

Foresight is moving to Leeds.Foresight is moving to Leeds.
Foresight is moving to Leeds.
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“We established a fund in the North West in 2015 and deployed capital into the region with 17 investments, creating profitable, robust companies.

“We see a similar opportunity here to create long-term sustainable jobs. Our aim is to be a long term player in the local community.”

Foresight is moving into the region following a tender process with West Yorkshire Combined Authority and is looking at a potential location on Wellington Street in Leeds city centre

where it will employ a handful of people.

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Mr Smith added: “You need to be on the ground in the region to be able to access investments.

“You cannot do that from London. Small deals do not travel.”

In addition to the Yorkshire deal, Foresight will also move into the North East, with plans for a Dublin office also in the pipeline.

Bernard Fairman, executive chairman of Foresight Group Holdings Limited, said: “These two new UK regional funds materially enhance our local footprint and provide further tangible evidence of our ability to deliver high-quality organic growth.”

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Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “I am very pleased we are launching this fund to invest in high growth SMEs in West Yorkshire, across all sectors and with a focus on

health, green tech, manufacturing and digital.

"Investing in high growth businesses will speed up the creation of quality jobs for the people of West Yorkshire."