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Tom Keighley

Private equity house have £100m war chest to spend across North

Northern private equity house NVM has a £100m war chest to spend in established businesses across the North.

The investors say pots of £2m-£10m will be made available for profitable companies looking to grow organically, acquire another business or finance a management buy-out.

So far this year, NVM’s northern team have invested £10m in Stockton-based Cleveland Biotech and Nelson-based Buoyant Upholstery.

Mauro Biagioni, NVM Investment director for the North East and Yorkshire, said: “We typically take a place on the board of the businesses we invest in, so the initial deal is often just the start. Our aim is to offer advice and, if necessary, incremental funding to bring the company’s growth strategy to fruition.

“We are in it for the long-term, so our relationship with a management team and our understanding of their business is crucial to a successful partnership.

“With our interests aligned with those of management, we will both work to maximise the potential of the business and see it grow. Successful investment in SMEs will only be achieved by backing businesses with the potential to deliver tangible growth.”

In the past two years, NVM has helped existing Northern portfolio companies Wear Inns and Kitwave to make strategic acquisitions to further boost market presence. Wear Inns successfully acquired a further 11 managed pubs across the North bringing the total estate to 26 pubs, with this year’s turnover just under £12 million.

Kitwave – a wholesaler of confectionery, soft drinks, alcohol and tobacco – acquired two complementary businesses resulting in a significant increase in turnover to £193 million. Both businesses have substantially increased profitability since NVM’s first investment.

NVM has firm roots in the North since it was first launched in Newcastle in 1984. Both Mauro and Andy live and work in the North of England, so are ingrained in their regions. Andy was recruited at the beginning of 2013 and is well-known in the North West, having spent the last 20 years working in the region. There are plans to strengthen the Northern team further with another appointment in the North West.

Mauro added: “It is vital to be on the ground in the North East and Yorkshire business community. If you are based outside the region it is hard to maintain regular face-to-face contact with your investee companies and key advisor contacts. The North East and Yorkshire are exciting regions to invest in, and NVM is keen to use its newly raised funds to support management teams looking to take the next important step forward for their businesses.”

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