Regional Investing – the South West & Wales in focus

“You’re a long way from home…..” familiar feedback to Colin Granger, Investment Director at YFM Equity Partners who is responsible for YFM’s investment activity in the South West and Wales.

“The feedback is understandable” notes Granger, “YFM was founded 35 years ago but it’s heritage is undoubtedly in the North East. We have however expanded significantly in those 35 years and are now truly investing across all of the UK”.

YFM has offices in Leeds, London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Manchester and has a partner base of 16 individuals looking to make equity investments of £3-10m to either support ownership changes (such as MBO’s) or growth capital investments through its VCT funds.

“There are over 1,500 companies in the South West and Wales with revenues of £10-50m which is right in our sweet spot at YFM.” The region is close to Granger’s heart having grown up in Gloucester, “The South West has the highest employment rate in the UK and has the highest percentage of highly educated residents. There’s also huge investment coming into the region including Hinkley Point nuclear power station, the electrification of the London to Swansea rail line and even the world’s first tidal lagoon power plant in Swansea!” The culture of the locals is also key to Granger’s desire to grow YFM’s presence in the region, “the people are honest, straightforward and hard working so all of the traits that we at YFM hold dear to our own hearts.”

Private equity activity in the region is also picking up. Between 2012 and 2016, the number of PE deals completed has increased by 18% year and Granger notes that YFM has contributed to this. “We supported the MBO of Indigo Telecom, based in Caldicot, in 2016 and then its bolt on acquisition of Belcom247. We have also provided growth capital to the management team of Friska, based in Bristol to help support their roll-out plans”.

Granger doesn’t plan to stop there though, “we want to invest more in the region and help businesses grow and reach their full potential”.

His fellow partners suspect that Granger’s real interest in the region is his  major passion outside of work, rugby. “I wouldn’t like to comment” says Granger, “but every cloud does have a silver lining…..”


If you would like to discuss any new investment opportunity in the South West or Wales, please contact Colin Granger at colin.granger@yfmep.com.

YFM Equity Partners conducts its investment activities through its wholly owned subsidiary, YFM Private Equity Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 122120).

 

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