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SYIF completes its biggest investment to date

Published: 21st August 2006

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Front left - Paul Milnes. Front right - Stephen Garside. Back from left: Patrick Able, Mary Broadhead, Neil Thompson, Simon Murden

South Yorkshire Investment Fund (SYIF) has made its largest single investment of £1.5 million to date in Barnsley based JDF Logistics, which offers a national transport and warehousing service to blue chip customers. 

The landmark investment, part of a multi-million pound deal in conjunction with Yorkshire Bank, allowed Managing Director Paul Milnes to head the management buyout of the company. 

Mary Broadhead, Investment Manager at SYIF, said: "This is an important deal for the region.  We are pleased to be able to offer key financial support to such a progressive organisation."

JDF controls approximately 400,000 square feet of warehouse space on three sites adjacent to junction 37 of the M1 motorway and operates a fleet of 45 distribution vehicles.  The company employs 125 people and turns over £10 million per year, which is underpinned by a number of long term customer contracts.

The outgoing executive chairman, Douglas Fearnley, said: "I am delighted to be leaving the company in the hands of a dedicated and experienced management team, who will continue to build on the excellent progress we have made to date."

Paul Milnes, head of the MBO team, said: "I am delighted that Douglas has had the confidence in the strength of the management team to take the business forward and build on the success he has enjoyed for many years.

With the support we have had from our investors SYIF and Yorkshire Bank, coupled with the excellent legal and financial advice from Neil Thompson at DLA Piper and Patrick Abel at PKF, JDF is poised to build on that success."

During the company's 19 year history, many sector leading companies have come to rely on JDF Logistics to supply their distribution, warehousing and logistical needs ahead of key competitors.

Simon Murden, who led the Yorkshire Bank team, which was advised by Mark Davies and Chris Ramage of Cobbetts solicitors, said: "JDF is a profitable, well managed business offering a high quality and flexible service to its long standing customers.  We have been bankers to JDF for 16 years are delighted to support the strong and experienced management team and to facilitate in the company's progress."

The MBO team was introduced to SYIF and Yorkshire Bank by Jason Whitworth of BDO Stoy Hayward.  Jason also acted as lead advisor to Douglas Fearnley throughout the process.  SYIF received legal advice from Tim MacLean of Keeble Hawson solicitors.

For more information on how SYIF can help you, please go to www.syif.com or call 01709 386 377

Editor's Notes

About South Yorkshire Investment Fund

South Yorkshire Investment Fund  provided seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

Created as part of the Objective 1 programme, the Fund is a private and public sector business finance provider. The European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward are investors in the Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provided access to Business Angel investments from the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels and Microloans through BiG Business Loan Fund and Donbac Microloan Fund.

Finance Yorkshire has now taken on responsibility for providing gap finance in Yorkshire and the Humber.
http://www.finance-yorkshire.com

For further details please contact Suzanne Tinkler,  on 0845 649 0000.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (Registered No 3936065). South Yorkshire Investment Fund comprises three sub funds, the South Yorkshire Investment Capital Fund, the South Yorkshire Investment Development Fund, which are each managed by YFM Venture Finance Limited, and the South Yorkshire Investment Small Business Fund, which is managed by Finance South Yorkshire Ltd. YFM Venture Finance Limited (Tel 0113 294 5000) and Finance South Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 01709 386 377) are each authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provides a number of services, which are not regulated by The Financial Services Authority. These include the pilot Seedcorn Fund, BiG Business Loan Fund, Mentorbank and access to the Donbac Microloan Fund. BiG Business Loan Fund is managed by Donbac Ltd (company registration No. 01925556) and Key Fund Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 0114 242 8900).