Foresight boosts two Lincolnshire businesses with £1.95 million MEIF investment

Foresight boosts two Lincolnshire businesses with £1.95 million
MEIF investment

  • £1 million investment into Lincoln–based YPP Group
  • £950,000 investment as part of £1.2m round into Stamford-based Firetree Chocolate Ltd.
  • Foresight’s first MEIF investments into Greater Lincolnshire LEP

20 February 2019

Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”) has announced two investments totalling £1.95 million into two fast-growing Lincolnshire based businesses, Firetree Chocolate Ltd and YPP Group via the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF).

Foresight completed a £950k investment into premium chocolate maker Firetree Chocolate Ltd (“Firetree”) as part of a £1.2 million funding round in late January. Firetree was set up in 2017 as a bespoke high-end chocolate manufacturer. It has been successful in securing several prominent B2B supply contracts in the ‘super premium’ chocolate market, as well as securing two lucrative private label contracts. Firetree’s ambition is to develop its own brand of super premium chocolate as a way of maximising shareholder value and returns.

Commenting on MEIF’s investment, David Zulman, Managing Director, Firetree, said: Firetree Chocolate is delighted to have Foresight come on board at this important phase in its growth cycle. Since the first chocolate poured off the line in early 2018, Firetree has collected an impressive list of B2B customers in both the UK and abroad. The product is well proven and well accepted. Its high quality and exceptional taste, manufactured from rare volcanic cocoa beans in its state of the art artisanal factory, sets it up to be well placed to launch its own consumer super-premium chocolate brand.

As part of the deal, Firetree will be opening an additional office in Stamford, a move which will increase office capacity, and create eight new jobs for the area. The investment from MEIF will be used to expand the sales and marketing team to further boost sales.

In early February, Foresight completed a £1 million investment into YPP Group (“YPP”). Based in Lincolnshire, YPP was founded by well-known local entrepreneur Stuart Maclaren, YPP provides a range of print and graphic design services, offering a holistic service from concept creation through to printing, finishing and delivery.

Stuart Maclaren, Founder and CEO of YPP Group, said: “We are delighted to receive funds from the MEIF. With the investment and the help and support available from Foresight we are confident we can fulfil our long terms goals for our company.

Your Print Partner has demonstrated considerable growth over recent years and with our new brand, Custom Gifts, about to launch, we are delighted that Foresight see the potential in YPP and are supporting us on this exciting journey.” 

The investment from MEIF will be used predominantly to facilitate the launch of YPP’s latest subsidiary, Custom Gifts, and to help build brand awareness. YPP is expected to create an additional seven local jobs within the first 12 months following the investment. 

Reflecting on these two investments into Lincolnshire, Ray Harris, Principal, Foresight Group, commented: We are pleased to have been able to deploy this substantial funding into two great businesses in Lincolnshire and understand the impact these investments can have on the local economy such as creating new jobs for the area and attracting talent.”

Russell Copley, GLLEP representative said: “I am delighted that the growth ambitions and drive of these two Lincolnshire businesses have been recognised and supported with these investments.  Greater Lincolnshire is home to some fantastic businesses and we hope that these are just the first of a number of investments that the MEIF will be making across the area.”

Grant Peggie, Director, at the British Business Bank, added: “With the support of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund and Foresight, it’s good to see that small growing businesses across the Midlands are benefiting from the fund, generating economic growth and creating new job opportunities.

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

Advisers on the Firetree deal included:

Legal advisers: Fraser Brown

Financial due diligence: Duncan & Toplis

Lenders: IGF

Advisers on the YPP deal included:

Legal advisers: Fraser Brown and Wilkin Chapman

Financial due diligence: Streets, Smith Cooper

ENDS

 

For further information contact:

Amy Smith, Communications Executive, Foresight Group asmith@foresightgroup.eu/020 3667 8179

NOTES FOR EDITORS

About Foresight Group LLP ("Foresight”):

Foresight is a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager which has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for more than 30 years.

Foresight has more thank £2.5 billion of Assets Under Management across a number of funds, including Listed Vehicles, Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs), Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Inheritance Tax Solutions using Business Property Relief (BPR).

Foresight’s Private Equity team, comprising 24 investment professionals, pursues four discrete but complementary investment styles: Venture, Impact, Growth and Replacement Capital through its growing regional office network.  

Foresight was voted ‘Best VCT Investment Manager’ at the 2017 Growth Investor Awards, having been previously awarded ‘VCT House of the Year’ at the 2016 Unquote British Private Equity awards.  Foresight was recently a shortlisted finalist in the 2018 Unquote British Private Equity Awards as Venture and Growth Capital House of the Year.

Foresight is headquartered in London with regional UK offices in Manchester, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Leicester and Guernsey and international offices in Sydney, Rome, Madrid and Seoul.

www.foresightgroup.eu

About the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF)

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, will invest in Debt Finance, Small Business Loans, Proof-of-Concept and Equity Finance funds, ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity.

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and British Business Finance Limited, a British Business Bank group company.

The MEIF covers the following LEP areas: Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire, Greater Birmingham & Solihull, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, The Marches, and Worcestershire in the West Midlands; and Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham & Nottinghamshire (D2N2) Greater Lincolnshire, Leicester and Leicestershire, and South-East Midlands in the East and South-East Midlands.

The project is receiving up to £78,550,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

The European Investment Bank is providing £122,500,000 to support the Midlands Engine Investment Fund. This follows backing for the Northern Powerhouse in 2017 and backing for the North East Fund to be announced in the coming weeks. www.eib.org

The funds in which Midlands Engine Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in, the West Midlands and East & South-East Midlands.

The British Business Bank has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). The guide, which impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses and provides links to support available at a regional level, is available at www.thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb

About the British Business Bank

The British Business Bank is the UK government’s economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity. Its remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government.

The British Business Bank is currently supporting almost £5.2bn of finance to nearly 75,000 smaller businesses (as at end of March 2018).

 

As well as increasing both supply and diversity of finance for UK smaller businesses through its programmes, the Bank works to raise awareness of the finance options available to smaller businesses:

  • The Business Finance Guide (published in partnership with the ICAEW and a further 21 business and finance organisations) impartially sets out the range of finance options available to businesses at all stages – from start-ups to SMEs and growing mid-sized companies. Businesses can take the interactive journey at thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb.
  • The new British Business Bank Finance Hub provides everything high-growth businesses need to know about their finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success. The new site also features case studies and learnings from real businesses to guide businesses through the process of applying for growth finance.

British Business Bank plc is a limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 08616013, registered office at Steel City House, West Street, Sheffield, S1 2GQ. As the holding company of the group operating under the trading name of British Business Bank, it is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government which is not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The British Business Bank operates under its own brand name through a number of subsidiaries, one of which is authorised and regulated by the FCA.

British Business Bank plc and its principal operating subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. A complete legal structure chart for British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries can be found on the British Business Bank plc website.