Bridges Ventures closes third Sustainable Growth Fund above target

London 7th October 2013 – Bridges Ventures (‘Bridges’) has today announced the successful final close of  its third Sustainable Growth Fund (‘Fund III’ or “The Fund”) on equity commitments of £125m, above its original £100m target with the backing of a number of leading institutional investors.

Fund III builds upon the success of Bridges’ first two funds (“Fund I” and “Fund II”) closed in 2002 and 2007 with fund sizes of £40m and £75m respectively. This latest highly successful fundraise underlines Bridges track record of delivering superior financial returns by directing capital towards areas where there are strong and pressing social or environmental needs.

The Bridges Sustainable Growth Funds take a thematic approach, providing growth capital for ambitious SMEs in the areas of health & well-being, education & skills, the environment and underserved areas (over 80% of investments are located in the most deprived 25% of the UK).  In these areas, Bridges believes that strong growth can be found in businesses that respond to pressing societal challenges and that returns can therefore go hand-in-hand with positive societal impacts.

This Fund comes on the back of Bridges’ 10th anniversary last year.  Over the last decade the sustainable and impact investment sector has evolved greatly. This week in London over 300 investment professionals from around the world will come together to discuss and learn about the practice of social and environmental impact investment at a conference held in partnership by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) and the City of London Corporation.  Meanwhile, global initiatives such as the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment, launched in 2006, and the Social Impact Investment Taskforce, launched at the G8 Social Investment Forum in London in June this year, have meant that investment strategies that put sustainability at their heart are finding their way into the mainstream.

This latest fund close marks another milestone for Bridges, a firm that has doubled its assets under management over the last three years to almost £340m and completed four successful exits in the space of a year – The Gym, Whelan Refining, Pure Washrooms and The Hoxton.

Michele Giddens, Partner and Co-Founder of Bridges Ventures said: “Since we founded Bridges over ten years ago we have seen a sea-change in perspectives about the integration of social and environmental issues into the investment process. We believe businesses that contribute to the wider society will have strong and enduring value in the medium and longer term.  We can therefore target highly attractive returns by putting societal impact and sustainability at the centre of our investment decisions. We are very grateful to all the existing and new investors that are backing our new fund.  Bridges is extremely excited about the opportunities we see to back management teams building high growth, high impact companies.”

The Fund has been raised with strong support from existing investors in the earlier Bridges Sustainable Growth Funds.  These include institutions such as RLAM (CIS Limited), HSBC Bank plc, West Midlands Pension Fund and South Yorkshire Pensions Authority; private equity backers such as 3i and Doughty Hanson; trusts and endowments such as Wittington Investments, All Souls College, Merton College, the R&S Cohen Foundation and SHINE – Support and Help in Education, as well as a number of family offices and high net worth individuals.  New investors to the Bridges Sustainable Growth Funds include the European Investment Fund (EIF), London Pensions Fund Authority, Merseyside Pension Fund, and Flintshire County Council.


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Richard Campbell / Hannah Randall

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Notes to Editors

Bridges Ventures (www.bridgesventures.com) Bridges Ventures LLP (“Bridges Ventures”) is a specialist fund manager dedicated to using an impact-driven investment approach to create superior returns for both investors and society at large. Bridges Ventures has raised seven funds to date which total almost £340m: Sustainable Growth Funds I, II and III, the Bridges Sustainable Property Fund, the CarePlaces Fund, the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund and the Bridges Social Impact Bond Fund.