HgCapital Trust Investments in Focus Group

15th April 2024 | Hg Capital Trust PLC (FTSE 250)

Hg, the Manager of HgCapital Trust plc (“HgT”), today announces an investment in Focus Group, one of the UK’s leading providers of essential business technology to SMEs.

The terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

HgT will invest approximately £21.3 million in Focus Group, with other institutional clients of Hg investing alongside HgT through the Hg Genesis 10 Fund.

HgT, whose shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange, gives private and institutional investors the opportunity to participate in all Hg’s investments.

Note that these figures only relate to HgT’s share of Hg’s overall investment in Focus Group.

HgT’s liquid resources available for future deployment (including all announced transactions, the undrawn bank facility and the full year dividend payable in May 2024) are estimated to be £670 million (29% of the estimated 29 February 2024 NAV of £2.3 billion).

The investment will reduce HgT’s outstanding commitments to invest in Hg transactions to approximately £927 million (40% of the estimated 29 February 2024 NAV).

HgT will announce its Q1 results in May 2024.

Focus Group secures new investment from Hg
to accelerate its position as a leading technology provider for SMEs

Brighton & Hove, UK. 15th April 2024: Focus Group, one of the UK’s leading providers of essential business technology to SMEs, today announces that it has secured a significant investment from Hg, a leading investor in European and transatlantic software and services businesses. This partnership will support Focus Group’s continued growth in the UK.

Founded in 2003 by Ralph Gilbert and Chris Goodman in Brighton & Hove, UK, Focus Group provides digital workplace solutions to around 30,000 SME customers. The company offers a single point of contact for the information technology needs of these clients, providing communications and software solutions, connectivity and value-added IT services.

Chris Goodman, co-founder of Focus Group, said: “Having enjoyed four fantastic years with our previous investor Bowmark, we are thrilled to now be partnering with Hg. Not only do they recognise the commercial opportunity that lies ahead and the capability of the team, but they also understand that it is the culture that we’ve built at Focus over the past 20 years that is the foundation of our success. This is the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for the business and our incredible team.”

Ralph Gilbert, co-founder of Focus Group, said: “Hg have demonstrated their ability to create value using their extensive experience in backing companies who sell business services to SMEs. They show a deep understanding of how to maximise and accelerate growth using data and AI; this has resonated with us as we already have sector leading data on which we are excited to capitalise. Alongside this we found that we have well-aligned views of the future of the ICT industry, both in terms of product and future M&A opportunities. We are very excited as to what the future holds in partnership with Hg.”

Hg’s investment will support Focus Group’s organic growth plan, M&A ambitions and product development initiatives, enhancing its ability to deliver innovative solutions for the UK SME sector. Hg has made more than a dozen investments in SME Tech Services over two decades and this depth of expertise will support a valuable partnership for future growth.

Nick Jordan and Joris Van Gool, Partners at Hg, said: “The long-term trends in small business technology adoption offers Focus a great opportunity to continue its impressive growth trajectory by offering a one-stop-shop for ICT for UK SMEs. In partnering with the Focus leadership and close to 1,000 exceptional colleagues we are excited about the opportunity to build a national champion in this industry.”

Conor Stewart, Principal at Hg, added: “We are delighted to partner with Chris, Ralph and the rest of the Focus management for the next stage of Focus’s journey – we’ve been impressed by the teams’ vision, commitment and ambition for future growth.”

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