Celerity secures £15 million Growth Private Equity investment from BGF

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BGF backs Preston-headquartered Celerity in £15m deal

24 November 2021:  Hybrid cloud and IT managed services provider, Celerity, has announced a £15 million investment from the UK’s most active growth capital investor, BGF.

Preston-headquartered Celerity is a fast-growing provider of high value, complex hybrid cloud and IT managed services. The business leads organisations through digital transformation and modernisation to deliver greater efficiency in management and optimisation of critical enterprise infrastructure. Its services include cyber security, data recovery and data visualisation.

BGF’s funding will allow Management, led by founder Chris Roche (CEO) and Craig Aston (COO) to continue scaling their managed service proposition, which is delivered alongside Celerity’s proprietary IP.

Commenting on the deal, Chris Roche said: 

“In the last 19 years we have achieved sustained business growth and critical acclaim, by diversifying from provision of enterprise infrastructure to a cloud and managed services specialist across both public and private sectors.

“Having developed our mission critical solutions, and with a strong senior team in place, we felt now was the perfect time to accelerate our growth. As such, we wanted to engage with a like-minded investor with the experience and expertise of scaling other high-growth technology businesses. BGF has extensive experience in this sector, and we’re delighted to be partnering with the team to supercharge our growth.”

As part of the deal, Phil Male will join the board as non-executive chair (NXC), bringing significant experience from the technology sector. Following an introduction by BGF’s Talent Network in 2016, he has also acted as NXC on other BGF portfolio companies, including Virtual1, ROI, and Miss Group.

BGF has invested more than £100 million in tech businesses in 2021 and announced seven successful exits in the sector this year. Of the £538 million invested in tech businesses to date, 70% of capital has been deployed outside of London and the South East.

The deal was led by Harry Jones and Spencer Woods, investors in BGF’s North West team. Harry Jones will also join the Celerity board.

Harry Jones said: 

“We have known the team at Celerity for several years and recognised a strong cultural alignment between our organisations. We have closely tracked their transition from a reseller and integrator of infrastructure to a highly successful IT managed services provider. Celerity’s impressive growth has accelerated rapidly through major contract wins, with managed service revenues more than quadrupling in the last 12 months.

“The management team’s track record of delivering growth, and the vast potential that exists within this market, made the company an extremely attractive investment proposition.”

The advisors to the transaction were:

  • BGF legals: Hill Dickinson (David Mkhitarian, Sean Lightfoot, Olivia Jones)
  • BGF tax: Hurst (Adrian Young, Sarah Haley)
  • Management legals: Napthen (Keith Melling, Victoria Bromiley
  • Management financial:  RSM (James Wild, advisory) and (Anthony Cox, tax). 


About BGF:   

  • BGF was set up in 2011 and has invested £2.5bn in more than 400 companies, making it the most active investor in the UK. 
  • BGF is a minority, non-controlling equity partner with a patient outlook on investments, based on shared long-term goals with the management teams it backs.
  • BGF invests in growing businesses in the UK and Ireland through its network of 16 offices.  
  • BGF models have now been set up in Canada and Australia, with other countries evaluating the opportunity to replicate this.
  • Part of BGF’s investment in Celerity comes from its recently launched UK Enterprise Fund (UKEF) established alongside Coutts, the private banking arm of NatWest, to provide clients with access to privately held, disruptive and diverse companies that are revolutionising their industries.
  • www.bgf.co.uk / Social media: @BGFinvestments
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Safiya Marzook

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