Ulster Bank has joined forces with BGF, the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), AIB and Bank of Ireland, to support Irish entrepreneurs and help scale businesses across the country.
With initial backing from ISIF, AIB, Bank of Ireland, and its existing shareholders, BGF became the largest growth capital investor in Ireland when it launched in November 2017. Ulster Bank, through its relationship with RBS, and ISIF have now committed additional funds, with the potential of up to €250m to invest in Irish SMEs.
Eddie Cullen, Managing Director, Commercial Banking Division, Ulster Bank, said: “RBS has been involved with BGF in the UK since it began in 2011 and we are delighted now to lend our support to BGF in Ireland. Ulster Bank offers sectoral expertise and support to businesses across Ireland, so it made sense for us, through our relationship with RBS, to be part of the BGF here as we continue to help companies expand and fulfil their ambitions.”
BGF is already the most active equity investor in the UK, having backed more than 220 ambitious businesses to date. Now, it has the support of all three of Ireland’s major banks, alongside ISIF. Since its launch in Ireland, BGF’s Dublin team has grown to four people and has been meeting with SMEs across the country.
“We are in a unique position as the only equity investor to have the backing of the three major Irish banks. Importantly, we have an increased pool of money to invest and we will now look to build relationships across a wider network of promising businesses across the country.”
Leo Casey, Head of Republic of Ireland, BGF
BGF will make initial investments of €1m-€10m into earlier-stage and established businesses, across every sector, with follow-on funding available in later rounds. These businesses will typically have revenues between €5m and €100m.
Stephen Welton, CEO of BGF said: “There is a huge opportunity to help more of Ireland’s ambitious smaller and mid-sized companies to build bigger businesses. BGF is focused on working alongside Ireland’s funding community as a core part of broadening the availability of equity finance for growing companies. I am delighted that our launch and model of investing has been so well received and encouraged in Ireland, and this latest endorsement will help to build on that momentum.”
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