£50m growth fund set up for UK hospitality businesses

£50m growth fund set up for UK hospitality businesses

Investment group Imbiba has closed its Imbiba Growth Fund at £50m, with £30m contribution from British Business Bank, which will provide growth capital and operational support to young hospitality and leisure SMEs.

The £30m contribution from the British Business Bank’s Enterprise Capital Funds (ECF) programme combines private and public money to make equity investments in high growth businesses, and since its inception, around £1.14bn (including third party investment) has been committed through the programme.

The ECF programme is a significant part of the UK venture capital industry, with 27 funds facilitating finance to 421 SMEs.

“We are pleased to have raised this new fund, with investment from the British Business Bank alongside several of the UK’s most successful leisure entrepreneurs, to provide both capital and operational support to some of most exciting growth businesses in our sector,” comments John Connell, chairman of Imbiba.

“Having traded through different economic cycles over the last 20 years, we see some fantastic opportunities in the current leisure market and believe that an agile £50m fund will be key to help to drive the growth of some of the more dynamic businesses in our industry.”

“The expansion of our Enterprise Capital Funds programme is a central part of the Bank’s work to grow the UK’s patient capital market and ensure high growth smaller businesses can access the equity finance they need to realise their growth potential,” adds Ken Cooper, Managing Director, Venture Solutions at the British Business Bank.

“We are delighted to have completed this investment into the Imbiba Growth Fund and to partner with the team at Imbiba, who have a history of success in supporting high growth UK companies.”

Imbiba has been investing in the UK leisure market for 20 years, supporting leisure and hospitality brands including Drake & Morgan, Darwin & Wallace, Temper and Purple Dragon, among others.

At Autumn Budget 2017, the government gave a vote of confidence to the British Business Bank’s ECF programme, committing a further £1bn over the next 10 years.