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Private equity investment picks up pace in Liverpool

Revealed at the Access to Alternative Finance Seminar, hosted by Professional Liverpool’s Corporate Finance Group, the level of completed transactions taking place in Merseyside over the last 12 months is on the rise as investors increasingly look to the city region for new opportunities.

Commenting on the event at the Cotton Exchange, Old Hall Street, Matt Noon, partner at Hill Dickinson, said: “Dare I say it, but in recent years it has been said that Liverpool lags behind Manchester when it comes to private equity investment.

“It wasn’t too long ago when deals such as the Business Growth Fund’s investment into Hobs Repro and Palatine’s investment into MJ Quinn were seen as the exception rather than the rule for Liverpool but I’m pleased to say things are changing.

“Over the last 12 months we have seen unprecedented activity in the private equity market with multiple PE investment deals taking place in the region but it’s important that this continues. We need to raise awareness of the options that are out there from crowd sourcing for smaller ventures, to local funds such as MSIF to the bigger funds evidenced by NorthEdge and LDC.”

NorthEdge has recently been involved in three high-profile investments, one with Future Industrial Services, another with Abbey Logistics and one with Chester based ITC Luxury Travel in a deal which was handled by Liverpool advisors. Other significant transactions included LDC’s deal with ChargePoint Technology, Paine and Partners’ deal with Meadow Foods and HgCapital’s strategic buy-in to insurance technology firm, Vast Visibility.

Limerston Capital’s acquisition of AdviserPlus was also a big transaction to be announced at the end of 2016.

“It isn’t just the new investments that demonstrate the health of the market either,” added Noon. “The PE exits from B&M, Clarke Energy and Wealth at Work show that investors can make money here too.”

Matt was joined at the event by Chris Rea, senior campaigns associate at Seedrs, Michael Dimelow, co-founder and head of investment at Accelerated Digital Ventures, David Parr, relationship director at Barclays and Steve Allen, head of sales & marketing at Bibby Financial Services

Matt Pomroy, investment manager from Foresight Group, which invested into Merseyside based diagnostic imaging service provider, Med Imaging Healthcare Limited at the end of last year, was also a speaker at the seminar.

Commenting on the current PE market in Liverpool, he said: “There is such a strong pool of innovative businesses along with an excellent bank of advisors in the Liverpool City Region meaning that there should be a wealth of opportunities here for PE houses.

“The biggest deals in Merseyside over the last 12 months cover a broad range of sectors from software to logistics and dairy products to hospitality and retail. This should clearly send a message that there are a wide variety of businesses out there primed for investment.”

The Access to Alternative Finance event, which was the third of its kind in Liverpool, has proven again to be incredibly popular with businesses looking to find out more about the different types of investment options in the city region.

Steve Stuart, chair of the Financial and Professional Services steering group for the Local Enterprise Partnership, comments: “Other cities, including Manchester, are looking saturated with investment and it has been proven in recent months that investors can make money in the Liverpool City Region. It is our role as advisors to talk about these successful deals and encourage other businesses to take advantage of this change in attitude towards the City Region.”Revealed at the Access to Alternative Finance Seminar, hosted by Professional Liverpool’s Corporate Finance Group, the level of completed transactions taking place in Merseyside over the last 12 months is on the rise as investors increasingly look to the city region for new opportunities.