SME fund

Specialist lender raises £150m for SME fund

Specialist lender Beechbrook Capital has closed its first SME fund with commitments of over £150m.

The Beechbrook Capital UK SME Credit I fund backs SMEs in the UK with a turnover of between £10m and £100m as well as earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of over £1m.

Beechbrook Capital reported that the fund attracted investors from not only the UK, but from continental Europe and America.

The final close was supported by a combination of new and existing investors.

The British Business Bank’s commercial arm – British Business Bank Investments Ltd – increased its commitment to the fund.

“We are delighted that investors continue to see the attractiveness of high-quality investment opportunities among UK SMEs, where we see a continuing shortage of long-term development and expansion finance,” said Nick Fenn, managing partner of Beechbrook.

The lender is now planning to open its first regional office in Manchester as it looks to help deal with the demand it has seen from SMEs.

“The Manchester office, which is scheduled to open in the first half of 2017, will increase our ability to meet the strong funding demand from UK SMEs and will facilitate closer relationships with the firms we back and their advisers,” added Jon Herbert, managing director of Beechbrook’s SME fund.

Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO of British Business Bank Investments Ltd, concluded by adding that it had supported the lender and its experienced management team for a number of years through its investment programme.

“In line with our aim to support diverse debt finance markets, we are pleased to be participating in the latest round of Beechbrook’s UK SME Credit fund.

“The new fund’s focus will help address the well-recognised funding gap for loans between £3m and £15m.”

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