Foresight Group launches £60m Scots SME fund

Foresight Group, a listed private equity and infrastructure investment manager, announced the launch of a new fund dedicated to investment in Scottish SMEs.

Foresight said the first close of the fund, at more than £60 million, was supported by cornerstone commitments from the £28 billion Strathclyde Pension Fund and also British Business Investments, a wholly-owned commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank.

This is Foresight’s eleventh “regional” fund, replicating the strategy already deployed in other parts of the UK.

It is also Foresight’s second fund dedicated to Scotland, having launched the £32 million Foresight Scottish Growth Fund with the support of the Scottish Government in 2019.

The new fund will target debt and equity investments of £1 million to £5 million in established SMEs with growth potential.

It will be managed by Foresight’s private equity team.

Foresight Group partner Matt Smith said: “We are very pleased to be launching this fund in partnership with British Business Investments and Strathclyde Pension Fund.

“We look forward to delivering a positive impact and working with exciting growth SMEs throughout Scotland to create value and jobs.

“The fund reflects our commitment to the Scottish market, where we believe there is a funding gap for the provision of capital and expertise to smaller companies.

“We look forward to strengthening our ties with the local business community and further building our local team.”

Daniel Halliday, a director based in Foresight’s Edinburgh office, said: “We are delighted to be able to increase our commitment to the Scottish market.

“We continue to see an excellent opportunity to invest in Scotland, supporting the vibrant SME community that has historically been underserved by professionally managed capital.

“We look forward to growing our local team, building on the good work since establishing our office in 2019.”

British Business Investments CEO Judith Hartley said: “British Business Investments is committed to improving choice and diversity of funding options for UK small businesses seeking to grow.

“By investing in funds like Foresight’s Scotland Fund, we help smaller businesses in the UK’s nations and regions to access capital and unlock rapid growth.

“Our commitment to Foresight will support established Scottish businesses with growth potential.”

Ian Jamison, investment manager at Strathclyde Pension Fund, said: “We are pleased to have been able to support the launch of the Foresight Scotland Fund.

“The fund is a great opportunity to help growth within small and medium businesses across Scotland, which in turn will create local jobs and attract further investment, supporting economic growth whilst generating strong returns for our pension fund members.”