WhiteRock Capital Partners
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster MLA today officially opened the offices of WhiteRock Capital Partners LLP, the appointed fund manager for the £50 million Growth Loan Fund.
Finance for the £50million Growth Loan Fund – which provides mezzanine finance to established Northern Ireland SMEs seeking to access growth finance – has been provided by Invest Northern Ireland and private investor, Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee (NILGOSC).
The Growth Loan Fund was established in June 2012 and commenced its investment period from September 2012. Within the first six months it has approved 20 loans to a value of £5 million, with a number of these companies having already drawn down their loan.
Speaking at the event Minister Foster said: “The Growth Loan Fund is just one of the practical actions that my Department, through Invest Northern Ireland, has taken to stimulate and encourage growth in these challenging economic times.
“The Fund has already made a number of significant loans and has a healthy number of enquiries from companies interested in benefiting from the Fund. I am confident that many additional SME businesses in Northern Ireland, who are crucial to creating a dynamic, innovative and export focussed economy, will benefit from investment from the Growth Loan Fund in the months and years ahead.”
WhiteRock Capital Partners LLP has been established to respond to enquiries to the Fund by the consortium of three partners – Braveheart Ventures Limited, NEL Fund Managers and Clarendon Fund Managers, all of which are authorised and regulated by the FSA.
Paul Millar, Chief Investment Officer, WhiteRock Capital partners said: “The £50 million Growth Loan Fund is already proving itself to be a key driver in export-led business growth in Northern Ireland, as well as stimulating local employment by securing existing jobs and creating many new jobs right across the province.
“Not only have our investors, Invest NI and NILGOSC, been extremely supportive, but the level of support and buy in from the banks locally has been very encouraging also. Our product is complementary to other forms of finance and we couldn’t provide loans to indigenous companies without their banks’ consent. This level of support across the board – which also includes our law firms, accountancy firms and venture capitalist referral partners – is a very clear demonstration of their commitment to supporting sustainable economic growth in Northern Ireland.”
Mr Millar went on to pay tribute to the growing team at WhiteRock Capital Partners, saying: “We have a distinguished team of very experienced investment managers and financial analysts which has now grown to eight professionals and, tasked with achieving the best results from what is a very valuable asset to the Northern Ireland business community, they are demonstrating every day that the £50m Growth Loan Fund is in capable hands.”
Companies seeking funding from the Growth Loan Fund must be based in Northern Ireland, demonstrating growth potential and generally be in the manufacturing, engineering or tradable services sectors. Loans will be typically unsecured and personal guarantees will not be sought. The loans provided are expected to be complementary to existing sources of finance, including banks, trade finance sources and equity investors. Loans are provided on a fully commercial basis, with monthly loan repayments required over typically a five-year term.
For more information about the Growth Loan Fund’s criteria please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.growthloanfund.com