Birmingham dealmaker advises on BBC Dragon and BGF investment

Neil Meredith

A Birmingham dealmaker has advised on a tie-up between Peter Jones, known for his role on Dragon’s Den, and BGF, who have joined forces to support two high-growth tech businesses.

Neil Meredith, M&A partner at EY in Birmingham advised Jones on raising £9m of investment from the Business Growth Fund (BGF).

An initial £9m has been invested across Localised Group, an ecommerce platform for global brands which recently signed British retailer Boden as its latest customer, and Retail Services Group, a business that provides in-store end-to-end retail experiences for some of the world’s leading technology brands.

Meredith said: “We were delighted to advise Peter and his team on raising this investment from the BGF. This funding will drive further growth in e-commerce group Localised and Retail Services Group and also provides a great platform for Peter and the BGF to partner on future deals together.

“We are strong supporters of entrepreneurship at EY and are delighted to have been involved in such a high profile transaction with one of the UK’s leading business figures, testament to the quality of advice we can deliver from the Midlands. We look forward to working with Peter and the BGF on many more deals in the future.”

Peter Jones said: “I’ve joined forces with BGF to find, invest and grow some of the most exciting companies in the UK today. Both of us see these initial investments as the stepping-stones to future opportunities. I couldn’t think of a better partner than BGF, one of the most respected businesses in the growth capital business. BGF has exactly the national footprint that we are looking for today.”

Stephen Welton, CEO of BGF, said: “Peter Jones is a campaigner for enterprise and one of the UK’s most admired entrepreneurs. The scale of his connections within the entrepreneurial community will be a huge benefit to both BGF and our portfolio. As like-minded investors, our joint mission is to find, invest in and grow brilliant businesses while doing all we can to help build the enterprise economy.

“This collaboration builds on the way BGF’s Talent Network operates, which is the now UK’s largest non-exec network, by working alongside one of the country’s most active entrepreneurs. We are very much looking forward to exploring even more new and exciting opportunities with Peter.

“These are unprecedented times for businesses but BGF remains committed to backing firms high-potential firms such as Localised and RSG. And as a committed investment partner we will do all we can to support our current portfolio of firms. In turn, we believe that the wider financial community has a vital and urgent role to play in helping businesses to access the funding and support they need and we will work within the sector and with government to achieve this. Remaining ‘open for business’ means continuing to back new investments which is critical to ensure that confidence is not irreparably damaged.”