BGF exits BioCity and reports active first quarter

Growth capital investor, BGF has announced a successful exit from life sciences incubation business, BioCity.

BGF backed BioCity, which has an operation at Alderley Park, in Cheshire, in January 2019 with funding facilitating Biocity’s investment into a number of seed stage life sciences businesses.

BGF has also invested alongside BioCity in deals such as its investment into Alderley Park-based proteomic-data science and diagnostics company, Kinomica, in November last year.

BioCity Group has been acquired by Trinity Investment Management and Harrison Street as part of a pre-existing joint venture.

The deal will see the merger of BioCity Group with Trinity IM’s science real estate arm, Knowledge Factory, to form a new company, We Are Pioneer Group.

Toby Reid, BioCity CEO said: “BGF’s support was integral in allowing BioCity Group to expand our offering to the UK’s life science community.

“We Are Pioneer Group is the exciting next step that provides the opportunity to create a fully integrated European life sciences platform to rival the scale of what the US has to offer.”

BGF experienced an active quarter of exit and investment activity in the first quarter of 2021 across the UK.

A total of eight exits were completed, generating significant returns for all shareholders. BGF returned £107m from the £45m invested across the eight businesses.

The exits generated an average money multiple of 2.4x and average internal rate of return of 33%.

BGF’s Jon Earl said: “This is a successful exit for all involved with strong returns for all shareholders.

“It’s also a hugely positive story for regional life sciences businesses as BioCity pioneered the concept of a business incubator offering 360° support within a self-contained location.

“This has since been replicated across the UK, playing a key role in the success of the UK’s life sciences industry.”

The exit comes on the back of a series of new investments across the North West as BGF continues to support the region’s growth economy businesses.

These include a £7.5m investment in Lancashire e-commerce logistics and tech company, Fulfilmentcrowd and a £4m investment into double Queen’s award winner, DriveWorks.

BGF investor, Neil Inskip, said: “Our recent investments demonstrate the resilience of the region, which is experiencing a strong volume of local activity, despite the obvious challenges. There have been massive changes in almost all sectors, but this has also created opportunity and the region is well placed to embrace these in the months ahead.”

BGF believes the next 12 months will create further prospects for deal activity in the North West, with opportunities likely to arise from entrepreneurs looking to make acquisitions, enter new markets and potentially de-risk some of their own personal investment.