Ready for business

The North East region is a hugely important focus area for Mercia. Even before the team was awarded its most recent fund, the North East Venture Fund, it was well established in the region having completed the first investment in 2003.

Mercia’s North East team is based in City Quadrant in Newcastle and is led by Fund Principal, Ian Wilson. Ian is a Chartered Accountant (FCA) and holds the Investment Management Certificate (IMC) from the CFA. He is a seasoned investment professional having fulfilled both merger and acquisition advisory positions in practice and investment management roles in early-stage funds since 2006 and he has taken several software companies from first investment to exit in recent years.

North East Fund – now open for new investments

The North East Fund is a £120.0milion investment programme available to SMEs across Durham, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear and can also be open to businesses which are relocating to the area. There are five funds each with a different investment focus depending on the sector in which businesses operates and where they sit on the growth curve.

Mercia manages the Venture Fund under this programme which is a £27.0million fund investing up to £1.0million into innovative businesses across Durham, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear.

Funding is available to all companies with high growth potential and pre-start enterprises. The fund aims to provide a range of investment products, tailored to each specific requirement, including both equity and mezzanine debt. The Investment Team can either act as the lead investor or participate in syndication deals with other investors which the team has considerable experience in doing.

The first step in finance is getting the business plan in shape

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Larger investment rounds

There have been some great examples of Mercia being able to deploy its ‘Complete Capital Solution” by combining other funds which it manages to build significantly larger investment rounds. This concept was well illustrated by the £8.0million investment into Total Resources which Mercia completed in May 2019 whereby the North East Fund invested £1.0million and the remaining £7.0million from several other funds.

The transaction includes growth, debt and venture funding which is helping the business to expand its existing depot network across the UK, creating up to 100 jobs from its head office in Boldon in South Tyneside, depots in Gateshead, Haydock and several other locations outside of the region too.

Companies we have backed

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Under our most recent fund, which was launched in April 2018, we have already invested more than £6.0milion into 16 different businesses and this number continues to rise each month. Investments span a range of different sectors ranging from software to metalwork and x-ray technology. With the exception of two smaller investments our average cheque size from the North East Fund has been just under £0.5million.