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Fund Backs High Performance Bike Company

Published: 18th February 2003

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Directors show off their high performance bike. From left, Adrian Smith from Edge Innovation with Julie Kenny from South Yorkshire Investment fund and Allan Wood Investment Manager from the Fund who led the deal and Andrew Kempton from Edge Innovation.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund has put a Sheffield bike firm on track with an unsecured loan of £27,500.

Edge Innovation Ltd designs and manufactures a range of high performance suspension-based mountain bikes, which are known as Edge Bikes. Founded just over two years ago, the company is run by owner managers Adrian Smith and Andrew Kempton.

The new funds will be used to develop their range of bikes and to take new designs into production. The company has moved to new premises at the Innovation Centre in Sheffield.

In addition to the loan provided by the Fund, the company has received matched funding from HSBC Bank. Andrew Kempton said: "This deal has been great for us. It will allow us to develop the bike in many ways and to extend our markets in the UK and abroad."

The company also manages its own bike racing team under the banner of Edge Racing and it competes in national and international competitions.

Mr Kempton said: "The team has proved to be very successful using the bikes we design and build. One of our riders recently won the Southern Downhill series championship. We hope to build on this success in the future."

One of the company's bikes, known as the Blade, has been given the thumbs up by the UK's largest selling Mountain bike magazine, the MBUK. The magazine reviewed the bike and its competitors, with the Blade coming out on top.

The Magazine said: "This is the BSX bike of the year, it's British and we want one." This review has led to further orders from public as well as interest from dealers.

Tony Goulbourn, Chief Executive of South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd,
said: "We like to help small companies like Edge Innovation. They have a very bright future and this loan will help them reach their full potential. Encouraging enterprise and innovation can only improve employment and prosperity in South Yorkshire."

The Fund provides development and risk capital ranging from £15k to £1m to businesses in, or prepared to relocate to, South Yorkshire.

It offers two key products, one of which is loans ranging from £15k to £150k with effective annual interest rates from as little as 3% per annum.

The second product is an equity-linked package, ranging from £50k to £1m where the Fund takes a minority stake in the business.

The equity-linked package, with its competitive fees, is designed for new or existing businesses with potential for rapid expansion. Investments can be made as a mix of ordinary and preference shares or subordinated loan stock.

A unique feature of the way the Fund can help businesses is the Mentorbank project, which provides subsidised mentoring support to help management teams grow the business more profitable.

The Fund's products are designed to support businesses through critical stages of growth. From start through to major expansion, the fund will provide financial support. If a business is looking to start up, invest in new technology or equipment, enter new markets or locate into South Yorkshire it should call South Yorkshire Investment Fund first.

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.

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).