Business growth fund celebrates 650th investment
A regional business growth fund has achieved the significant
milestone of making its 650th investment in North East
Pacifica Group is the latest company to receive investment from
the £142.5m Finance for Business North East (FBNE) programme, a
ground-breaking suite of seven funds managed by North East
Chester-le-Street-based Pacifica secured £500,000 from FW
Capital, managers of the North East Growth Plus Fund, as part of a
£2m funding round to set up a new site in Washington. The funding
round also included a £1.16m commercial mortgage and loan from HSBC
as well as a £250,000 Let’s Grow grant. FW Capital’s loan assisted
Pacifica in its move to the new site.
This site will help spearhead Pacifica’s growth in the region
where it expects to create 45 jobs.
Founded in 2003, the group is made up of six companies and
provides a comprehensive repair and replacement service for
domestic appliances. It also installs, services and repairs
domestic central heating systems and gas appliances through its
nationally recognised 0800 Repair brand.
Kevin Brown, director of Pacifica, said: “This investment marks
a major milestone for us as we embark on the next phase of the
company’s expansion. It has put us in a great position to achieve
our aim of becoming Europe’s premier support services provider to
the domestic appliance industry.”
Since its launch in 2010, the FFBNE programme has provided more
than £105m of debt and equity funding to North East SMEs, creating
or safeguarding almost 4,000 jobs. It has also secured more than
£120m of private sector cash to support deals from venture capital
firms, business angels and other investors.
The money has been invested in firms across the region, from the
Tweed to the Tees. Beneficiaries include engineering,
bio-technology, manufacturing, renewable energy and software
Jason Hobbs, finance director at North East Finance, said: “This
significant milestone puts us well on the way to achieving our goal
of supporting more than 900 businesses by the end of next year.
“FFBNE was launched to provide alternative investment at a time
when companies were finding mainstream affordable finance hard to
come by. Now, as the economic recovery continues to gather
momentum, more companies are seeking debt and equity-based
investments to fast-track their expansion plans.
“Pacifica is just one of many beneficiaries of FBNE and there is
still money available from the programme for other businesses that
require additional investment.”
Joanne Pratt, FW Capital’s fund manager in the North East, said:
“Pacifica has become a major player in the European domestic
appliance industry and now provides customers with a comprehensive
range of services. They’ve have built an excellent reputation and
taken on additional staff as they’ve expanded.
“The move to Washington is an important step for Pacifica and
I’m pleased FW Capital has been able to join forces with HSBC to
come up with a funding package to back its continued expansion.
This investment is an excellent example of how we can work
alongside other funders to structure investment packages for
ambitious North East companies.”
HSBC’s Tyne Tees Commercial Centre supported the project via a
£1.16m funding package in a deal managed on behalf of the bank by
senior commercial manager Ian Cameron. The funding was allocated
from HSBC’s £100m SME fund specifically for companies from the
Pat Dellow, HSBC Tyne Tees area commercial director, said: “We
are pleased to have supported Pacifica Group in this investment,
which has created a number of new jobs in the North East. The
company has ambitious growth plans across Europe and HSBC is well
positioned to support the business as it expands.”
The North East Growth Plus Fund provides debt, mezzanine and
equity investments, typically between £350,000 and £1.25 million,
to revenue-generating North East businesses.