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Investment Team at SYIF expects more success in 2004

Published: 29th January 2004

Peter Armitage, Investment Managing Director

Nigel Feirn, Investment Manager

Matthew Male, Investment Manager

Clive Downward, Lending Manager

Paul Gower, Investment Executive

Fund now offering equity investments up to £2.5 million

South Yorkshire Investment Fund's equity investment team is gearing up for a busy year following on from its success in 2003 - and now offers equity investment packages up to £2.5m.

The team is led by Peter Armitage, Investment Managing Director for SYIF, who was formally a partner in the Leeds office of Apax partners - one of the largest and most successful venture capitalists in Europe - and prior to that he spent six years with Bridgepoint Capital (formerly known as NatWest Ventures). A qualified chartered accountant he has an MBA from
Manchester Business School.

The team have made several successful investments in companies, including Transtar International Freight Forwarder Limited (£500k), Turton Springs Ltd (£100k) and Pearce Buckle Ltd.

Mr Armitage said: "It is this success we want to build on and the fact we can now offer equity investment packages up to £2.5 million is very significant. We have tremendous flexibility within the fund to structure each investment or loan to meet the particular requirements of each company provided we believe we can make a sensible commercial return.

"The team is determined to play its part in the Fund's aim to help small and medium businesses prosper and to increase employment in South Yorkshire."

The team of five are highly experienced and qualified to deal with the needs of companies seeking funding where traditional bank lending may not be sufficient or appropriate.

Nigel Feirn, who became an Investment Manager for the Fund in May 2002, trained as a Chartered Accountant with BDO Stoy Hayward in Nottingham before joining UK Steel Enterprise as a Financial Controller before moving on to become an Investment Executive. Nigel has 8 years experience within the venture capital industry

Matthew Male also trained as a Chartered Accountant in the Corporate Tax Department of Arthur Andersen in Leeds before transferring to Andersen Corporate Finance, where he worked on corporate finance transactions. He came to work with the Fund in November 2002.

Clive Downward is an experienced banker who has held a variety of positions, more recently as a Credit Director at Barclays in London and previously as an Area Manager. He came to work with the Fund in November 2003.

Paul Gower spent eight years at Burmah Castrol Plc in various analytical roles and after gaining an MBA from Manchester Business School worked atPricewaterhouseCoopers within the Business Regeneration Unit. He came to work with the Fund in November 2003.

The Fund can provide loans and equity investments ranging from £15k to £ 2.5m to businesses in, or prepared to relocate to, South Yorkshire. The Fund has already invested over £4.9 million in over 77 businesses.

It offers two key products, one of which is loans ranging from £15k to £ 150k with effective annual interest rates from as little as 2.4% per annum. Loans are unsecured for the majority of established profitable businesses with unsecured loans of up to £50k available for start-ups or early stage.

The second product is an equity-linked package of a loan with equity options or a equity investment, ranging from £50k to £2.5m where the Fund may take a minority shareholding in the business.

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 their business more profitably. South Yorkshire Investment Fund also run Capital Network a Business Angels introductory service for early stage businesses in South Yorkshire. Where appropriate Business Angel finance can also complement South Yorkshire Investment fund packages.

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).