First exit for BCV and YFM

Bridges Community Ventures (BCV) and the YFM Group (YFM) have sold Harlands of Hull, a specialist self-adhesive label printer, to the Clondalkin Group for £8.5m. This is the first exit for both BCV and YFM’s Regional Venture Capital Fund.

BCV and YFM jointly backed the £4m management buyout of Harlands in September 2003. Each invested £750,000 to become minority shareholders in the company. The sale of Harlands to the Clondalkin Group, which is backed by Warburg Pincus, represents a money multiple of 3.5 x for the institutional investors. It is a strategic purchase for Clondalkin, which will be gaining access to a value-added specialist label producer that will enhance its overall product offering.

BCV is a UK-focused community development venture capital company. The Yorkshire and Humber Equity Fund, managed by YFM, is one of the nine government-backed regional venture capital funds covering the whole of England.

Michele Giddens, BCV director, said: “We are delighted to have achieved an excellent first exit for the BCV Fund and congratulate the Harlands management team on completing such a successful trade sale to the Clondalkin Group. The mission of BCV is to invest in businesses like Harlands which have strong commercial potential and which can deliver attractive financial returns whilst bringing social and economic benefits to under-invested areas such as Hull. We hope that this success will encourage investors to participate in this kind of investment in the future.”

Stephen Garman, a member of the BCV Entrepreneurs Club, represented BCV on Harlands’ board. The Bridges Entrepreneurs Club is a group of successful entrepreneurs who have invested in the BCV Funds and who work with the investee companies to help them succeed.