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GLE Group acquires UK provider of early-stage funds

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GLE Group, a provider of angel and early-stage venture capital funds, has completed its purchase of the YFM Group, a UK early-stage investment specialist, and become the largest provider o

GLE Group, a provider of angel and early-stage venture capital funds, has completed its purchase of the YFM Group, a UK early-stage investment specialist, and become the largest provider of equity capital to small and growing enterprises in Europe with more than GBP330m in funds under management.

The combination of the businesses expands GLE’s reach throughout UK and Europe and reinforce its growth capital business activities which include the London Business Angels, the oldest business angel network in the UK, the country’s first enterprise capital fund, Seraphim Capital, and London Seed Capital, the an angel co-investment fund.

‘The joining of GLE and YFM will open up new opportunities for both businesses,’ says GLE chief executive Martin Large. ‘Both companies share a similar history. The acquisition will enable us to combine our extensive investment expertise and funding potential to open up new opportunities for collaboration and leverage investment across Europe.’

David Hall, managing director of YFM Private Equity, says: ‘Joining forces makes logical sense for employees, clients, partners and the wider business community. Our businesses fit very well together and both groups will be significantly stronger as a result.’ His colleague Peter Garnham, managing director of YFM Venture Finance, adds:  ‘The union with GLE will enable the continued activity of both investment arms, YFM Venture Finance and YFM Private Equity, in addressing the perceived gap in the market for risk capital.’

GLE, an economic development company delivering investment, products and services to promote small business growth, is headquartered in London with offices in south-east England, Brussels and Prague.

GLE Growth Capital, the equity finance arm of the GLE Group, combines the London Business Angels Network, which provides equity finance of up to GBP2m for high-growth companies, the London Seed Capital fund, various smaller tracker funds and the GBP30m Seraphim Capital fund.

From 10 regional offices the YFM Group, founded in 1982, manages some GBP300m of funds for institutional and retail clients including UK clearing banks, pension funds, private individuals, large corporates, the European Investment Fund and local, national and European governments in combination with regional development agencies.

The group’s team of over 40 investment managers specialise in making investments with equity of up to GBP8m, although leveraging effects mean that the total value of deals can be much larger. In the 12 months to the end of March YFM Group invested GBP47m in deals worth more than GBP220m in 91 companies across the country.

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