Third Successful exit for Bridges Community Ventures as it sells HS Atec Ltd

This is the third successful exit for Bridges, the venture capital company with a social mission. Bridges manages funds that achieve social aims as well as attractive financial returns. Its first funds primarily invest in ambitious businesses located in the most deprived areas of the UK.

The return to investors in Bridges funds is more than a 2x multiple, taking account of interest and dividends, and an IRR of 28.7% on the investment in HS Atec. Bridges originally invested £1 million in March 2003 in a combination of equity and loan stock to support a management buyout of the business.

Since then the business has grown successfully, with sales rising from £7.1m in 2003 to £8.4m in 2006 and the business moving from loss to profit.

Anthony Ross of Bridges Community Ventures said:“We are delighted to have secured Bridges’ third successful exit. HS Atec has performed well in a tough market and the management have successfully restored profitability. The company is a great example of the Bridges mission of investing in under-invested areas that can offer good commercial and social returns.”

Neil Fattorini from HS Atec said:“HS Atec has been very successful since Bridges supported our MBO in 2003 and I am delighted that the team now have the opportunity to take the business further forward. Our recently opened seventh branch in Durham is tangible evidence of both our success over the last four years and our drive for profitable growth. ”

HS Atec, based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire with seven regional branches, is located in one of the most under-invested areas of the UK. The investment in the business saved over 30 jobs in the area.

Investors in Bridges funds include leading members of the finance sector such as HSBC, Barclays Business Banking, Citigroup, 3i, Doughty Hanson & Co, Lloyds TSB Scotland and RBS. Other investors include pension funds, charities and endowment funds such as that of All Souls College, as well as wealthy individuals and families.


Notes to editors
Bridges Community Ventures

Bridges Community Ventures is a venture capital company with a social mission set up in 2002. As an investor, it harnesses its commercial expertise to achieve social aims as well as making the highest possible returns.

Bridges Community Ventures invests in the most deprived 25% of areas in the country, as defined by the Index of Multiple Deprivation. Bridges Ventures’ second fund can also invest in businesses outside these target areas if they demonstrate strong social benefits in healthcare, education or the environment.

Founder investors in Bridges included Sir Ronald Cohen, co-founder and former chairman of Apax Partners, Tom Singh of New Look, 3i and the West Midlands Pension Fund. In addition, the backers of Bridges Ventures’ second fund include HSBC, Citigroup, Doughty Hanson & Co, Barclays Business Banking, All Souls College and a number of family trusts, foundations and individuals.

Bridges seeks growth companies at the early and expansion stages, as well as management buy-outs, and property-backed businesses. Total transactions led by Bridges range from £125k as sole investor to being part of a joint investment of £31m. Entrepreneurs can find out whether their business is eligible for investment by going to the website www.bridgesventures.com or calling 020 7262 5566.