Chris Nixon edited

BGF bolsters Northern Ireland team to drive growth

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18th October 2021

BGF bolsters Northern Ireland team to drive growth

BGF, the UK and Ireland’s most active investor, has expanded its Northern Ireland team following the appointments of investors, Chris Nixon and John Devine.

The pair will join a team of five experienced investors working across BGF’s Belfast and Edinburgh offices, as they continue to look for opportunities to invest in growing businesses with the ambition and potential to scale.

BGF typically backs companies with revenues from £1m right up to £100m+, and across all sectors. It has invested over £50 million in Northern Ireland since 2015, supporting seven companies across the province including housebuilder Braidwater, software firm AuditComply, coffee chain Bob and Berts, window covering manufacturer Mzuri-Group, waste management services provider RiverRidge, and kitchen manufacturer Uform.

The most recent addition to the portfolio came last year following a £10 million investment in Lisburn-based Mzuri Group, a family-owned manufacturer of window coverings which is best known in Northern Ireland for its Decora Blinds brand.

Chris Nixon joined BGF in 2016 and was previously part of the BGF team in the Midlands before recently relocating to his native Northern Ireland. He is now responsible for overseeing all aspects of the local investment process, including identifying and executing deals, through to working with the management teams of portfolio companies’ post-investment. To date, he has been involved in over a dozen transactions and exits at BGF, totalling over £80 million of invested capital.

Chris Nixon, Investor at BGF added: “It’s really exciting to be back living and working in Northern Ireland. Relocating at some point has always been my ambition, but to be able to do that with BGF, with whom I have been with for a number of years, is particularly satisfying. Northern Ireland has a unique culture and has emerged as an excellent place to do business with an impressively diverse ecosystem. BGF already has a strong track record of supporting the best SMEs here with their growth aspirations and I look forward to furthering our efforts alongside our existing NI team.”

John Devine has also been appointed to the role of investor where he will be responsible for deal origination and execution across Northern Ireland and Central Scotland. He joined BGF from EY-Parthenon where he managed transaction strategy and execution. Previously, he spent four years in transactional advisory services at EY.

Paddy Graham, Head of Northern Ireland and Central Scotland at BGF, said: “We have no doubt that Chris and John will make excellent additions to the team as we continue to look for companies across Northern Ireland who are determined to grow and are open to investment.

“BGF is doing things differently through a regionally-focused funding model which allows us to invest in and support potential over the long-term. We initially invest between £1 million and £15 million, with follow-on funding invested as required, which allows businesses to deliver their growth plans within their own timeframes.

“There are significant opportunities for businesses in Northern Ireland with growth aspirations as the economy continues to bounce back. Having a partner like BGF on board can provide the means to achieving those goals.”