Mercia invests more than £11 million during lockdown

May 13, 2020 @ 12:44 by Alison Cowie

Mercia Asset Management has invested more than £11 million in the seven weeks since the lockdown began.

The investment company – which has around £300 million in unrestricted free cash within venture capital, private equity and debt to invest – has completed 26 transactions during the crisis including new investments and support for its existing portfolio companies.

Mercia’s CEO Mark Payton (pictured) says it is now more important than ever that businesses outside London receive their fair share of both investment and government support, or the regions face losing the gains they have made in recent years.

“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,” he said. “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 around 400 portfolio companies throughout the UK and around £800 million of assets under management, through its own capital and the funds it manages on behalf of third parties.

 

 

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