Fund manager increases small business investment by 25 per cent

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Fund manager Enterprise Ventures invested £29m in small businesses in 2013 – up £5m on the previous year.

The number of transactions rose 25 per cent from 167 to 211 while the total value of Enterprise Ventures’ funds under management increased from £130m to £140m.

Over the past three years the company has provided a total of £73m equity and debt finance in 555 transactions– equivalent to one deal every working day.

Significant deals during 2013 included the £6m management buy-out of Winderpower, the Leeds-based manufacturer of power distribution and generation equipment; a major investment into Knight Warner, the Chesterfield-based manufacturer of process automation equipment; and the £3.8m buy-out of Blackburn-based Granby Marketing Services, a leading response and fulfilment house.

Enterprise Ventures, which has an office in Barnsley, manages 14 specially-targeted SME funds raised from the public and private sectors providing venture capital, growth capital and loans. They include the Finance Yorkshire Seedcorn Fund and Small Business Loans Fund, the Coalfields Funds, The North West Fund for Venture Capital, The North West Fund for Mezzanine, and Lancashire’s Rosebud Fund.

Recent Bank of England figures showed that net lending to SMEs continued to fall in 2013.

Jonathan Diggines, chief executive of Enterprise Ventures, said: “SME investors need on-the-ground expertise so that they can understand the needs of each business and provide support. Enterprise Ventures is one of the few fund managers providing finance to businesses of this size.”