Mercia invests £11 million since lockdown started
Henley-in-Arden headquartered Mercia Asset Management has invested more than £11 million into UK businesses since the coronavirus lockdown began.
The AIM listed company completed 26 transactions during the pandemic spanning both new investments and funding for existing portfolio companies.
Mercia added it has approximately £300 million in unrestricted free cash within venture capital, private equity and debt to invest.
Chief executive Mark Payton commented: “With nearly 80 per cent of high-growth businesses based outside of London, regional SME investment will be crucial to economic recovery and to building the technology and healthcare industries of the future.
“Regional SMEs have historically been underserved by finance providers. During the financial crisis of 2008 the funding disparity between London and the UK regions rapidly grew, with investment in the North and the Midlands falling by circa 70 per cent compared to a 55 per cent drop in London and the South East.
“It took until 2018 for regional investment to recover to pre-crisis levels. Since then we have made real progress in closing the gap and many regional cities are now thriving hubs.
“However, the predicted recession caused by Covid-19 could be even deeper than the last and we must ensure the regions don’t suffer disproportionately once again.
“Mercia is committed to supporting regional SMEs over the long-term, and has the funds and experience to do so. However, we need to ensure that the regions have access to relevant and immediate public sector funding and a voice in designing any of the national measures that government will be rolling out post-Covid-19.”
Mercia has about 400 portfolio companies throughout the UK and around £800m of assets under management, through its own capital and the funds it manages on behalf of third parties.
Payton concluded: “Some of the most exciting businesses we see today – including some of the healthcare firms involved in the fight against Covid-19 – started up in the wake of the last recession.
“Unlike then, this time there is investment capital available from Mercia and other sources. It is vital that entrepreneurs and managers with valid commercial prospects continue to pursue their ambitions as by doing so, they will be playing their own part in their region’s, and thus the UK’s economic recovery.”