Foresight gives Oomf a boost with £500,000 MEIF investment

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Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”) announces a £500,000 equity investment into Oomf Limited (“Oomf” or the “Company”) through the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (“MEIF”).  

Originally based in Dorset, Oomf recently opened a new manufacturing site in Northampton, hiring several staff from the area. A premium high protein porridge brand, Oomf has two core product ranges, Protein Oats and Skinny Oats, which are currently sold through several major retail outlets including Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

The firm was founded by two brothers, Andrew and Robert Sweeney, who have complementary backgrounds in finance and in sport science and nutrition respectively.  The Protein Oats range which comes in a variety of flavours, is fortified with 20g of protein per pot with a reduced saturated sugar content than its closest competitor. Skinny Oats has two flavours in its lower calorie variety.

The investment will be used to purchase additional equipment demanded by the relocation to Northampton, to scale the business pending the outcome of advanced talks with other major supermarket chains and to expand the sales and marketing function based in the region.

Commenting on the investment, Oomf co-founder, Andrew Sweeney, said: “These are exciting times and we are delighted to have Foresight’s backing through the MEIF.  With its investment, we can upscale the business in our new East Midlands manufacturing base which is an ideal location for further expansion of the business into new retailers based across the UK.”

Jordan Lavender, Investment Analyst at Foresight Group, commented: “We are delighted to be working with Oomf and in doing so bringing a vibrant, early stage company to the East Midlands. As a result of the investment, the company has been able to create more jobs for the area whilst taking advantage of a central base in the region to facilitate more cost-effective distribution.  In addition, we are pleased to be supporting a company that is passionately promoting a more healthy lifestyle.”

Lewis Stringer, Senior Manager of British Business Bank’s South-East Midlands Network, added: “One of the British Business Bank’s key objectives is to reduce regional imbalances in access to finance for smaller businesses in the UK, which is part of what the Midlands Engine Investment Fund has been set up to achieve.

“It is good to see that MEIF investment is supporting Oomf, in the next stage of its growth journey.”

Vicky Hlomuka, SEMLEP’s Growth Hub Manager, said: “It is important that innovative businesses, like Oomf, are able to access suitable finance to help them scale up and open new manufacturing facilities in the area. That is a key driver for SEMLEP and MEIF and it is great to see it having a positive impact in the area.”

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.

ENDS

For further information, contact:

Ben Thompson, Group Marketing Director, Foresight Group bthompson@foresightgroup.eu /
020 3667 8155

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 35 years.

Foresight has £2.9 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 was recently named ‘Fund Manager of the Year’ at the PLC Awards.

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 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 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 programmes are supporting more than £5.9bn of finance to over 82,000 smaller businesses (as at end of September 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.