Whiterock has experienced significant interest from Northern Ireland businesses keen to attract equity investment from its £75m Growth Capital Fund, the fund manager said today. Speaking at the official launch of the equity investment fund at Waterman House in Belfast, Whiterock CEO Paul Millar said there was immediate interest in the fund when it was first announced in April, and it expects to be in a position to announce its first investments within the next few months.


The new £75m fund, the largest ever locally managed equity investment fund for NI companies, was established to address the need for growth funding locally. Whiterock expects to make investments of between £1m and £5m for minority shareholdings in growth and scaling companies, with capacity for further follow on funding as required.

Guests at the launch event today heard from a number of speakers who have been through the equity investment process, including Eamon Donnelly (Uform), Sean McAllister (PlotBox) and Carmel Mullan (FS Com), while Whiterock also detailed its plans to help bridge the equity gap.

Whiterock CEO Paul Millar said: “Since announcing the fund, we have seen significant interest from a wide range of ambitious Northern Ireland businesses seeking an investment partner to help them realise their growth ambitions. This immediate demand means we will be in a position to close our first equity deals in a very short space of time.

“We have said that the Growth Capital Fund will invest in businesses across a range of sectors which have strong management teams, a demonstrated and proven business model and high growth potential. We have certainly found many companies in Northern Ireland who fit those criteria and look forward to being a strategic partner to some of them.”

Whiterock has been operating in Northern Ireland for more than 10 years. It manages in excess of £225m across five funds and to date has deployed in excess of £125m, which has leveraged over £100m of further funding from other funders. Owned by a local senior management team, Whiterock it has provided debt funding to over 180 SMEs.

The British Business Bank has invested 60% of the new fund’s capital (£45m) through its Enterprise Capital Funds programme, and the remaining 40% (£30m) has come from private investors, including several local family offices and high net worth individuals.

Whiterock expects the fund to be deployed over a five-year investment period, investing in 15-20 companies during that time across sectors including Digital, ICT & Creative; Fintech & Financial Services; Life & Health Sciences; Agri-Tech; and Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering.

PHOTO

Photographed at the launch of the £75m Growth Capital Fund at Waterman House in Belfast are (L-R) Sean McAllister (PlotBox); Carmel Mullan (FS Com); Paul Millar (Whiterock); and Eamon Donaghy (Uform).

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Equity Firm Reports Strong Demand For Growth Capital Fund

Whiterock has experienced significant interest from Northern Ireland businesses keen to attract equity investment from its £75m Growth Capital Fund, the fund manager said today. Speaking at the official launch of the equity investment fund at Waterman House in Belfast, Whiterock CEO Paul Millar said