2014-15 financial year half year update
- £19.8 million invested – investment levels in
Wales ahead of target.
- £15.9 million additional investment
- 1,263 jobs created and safeguarded and 4,698 in the
last 18 months.
- 2 of Finance Wales’ most profitable exits/investment
- 4 Welsh SMEs backed by the Wales Capital Growth
- Wales Technology Seed Fund
- Responsible Business Strategy launched
Finance Wales exceeded its investment target for the first half
of the 2014 – 15 financial year, investing £19.8 million in
Wales. These investments attracted £15.9 million additional
investment to provide Welsh SMEs with a £35.7 million growth
Loans and other investments from Finance Wales helped Welsh SMEs
create and safeguard 1,263 jobs in the first half of 2014 –
15. Finance Wales’ investments have helped Welsh SMEs create
or safeguard 4,698 jobs in the last 18 months.
The Welsh Government subsidiary also achieved 2 of its most
profitable investment realisations to date, exiting from Vista
Retail Support (4.5X return) in May and Wholebake (5.5X return) in
July. With Finance Wales’ backing, both Vista and Wholebake
expanded their operations and took on more staff in Wales.
The 2014 – 15 financial year has also seen the launch of the
Wales Capital Growth and Wales Technology Seed Funds. Finance
Wales has made 3 more investments from the Capital Growth Fund
since its first £1 million investment in Newport-based
These, and the other Welsh Government funds launched since 2012,
have boosted Finance Wales’ ability to back SMEs’ specific short
and long-term funding needs and are helping to increase the
company’s impact on the Welsh economy.
Commenting on the Group’s half-year performance, Chairman, Ian
Johnson said: “The last financial year was a record year for
the Finance Wales Group and I’m pleased Finance Wales’ investments
in Wales are ahead of target this year. Finance Wales can now
offer a broader range of tailored funding options thanks to the
Welsh Government funds it has launched since 2012.
“These funds are having an increasingly significant impact on
the Welsh economy, helping to attract additional investment
capital, increasing employment opportunities, encouraging
innovation as well as creating opportunities for local
suppliers. Investment from Finance Wales is also continuing
to attract businesses to Wales.”
The impact of investments from Finance Wales’ largest fund, the
Wales JEREMIE Fund was recognised with Big Tick at Business in the
Community’s (BITC) 2014 Wales Responsible Businesses Awards in
June. September also saw Finance Wales launch its first
responsible business strategy.
Group Investment Director, Mike Owen said: “Both Vista and
Wholebake demonstrate the success Welsh businesses can achieve when
they combine a robust business plan with Finance Wales’ long-term
financial backing and locally based support. They also
demonstrate how Finance Wales’ investments are driving growth
“Our investment levels in the first half of 2014 – 15 are ahead
of target and a clear indication of the renewed confidence Welsh
SMEs are displaying. They’re actively looking for - and
winning - new contracts and we now have even more flexibility to
help them think bigger.”
With more funds, a 1,300-strong portfolio of current investments
as well as increasing demand for investment, Finance Wales has also
boosted its investment and portfolio teams. Added to this,
the Wales JEREMIE Fund is now in its final investment year and the
company is keen to ensure as many SMEs benefit from its
Finance Wales will relocate its Cardiff headquarters to the
Central Cardiff Enterprise Zone when the lease on its Park Place
offices expires in December 2014.
By the end of September 2014, Welsh SMEs have benefitted from
£353 million of investment from Finance Wales. These
investments have also leveraged additional investment totalling
£510 million, taking its total impact on the Welsh economy to £863
million. With Finance Wales’ backing, Welsh SMEs have created
or safeguarded 39,085 jobs in Wales.
For more information visit our Performance
& Impact page