TOWER Cold Chain Solutions, equity client of the Thames Valley Berkshire (TVB) Growth Fund, which is managed by The FSE Group, has closed a major new funding initiative, leading to a successful exit for TVB Growth Fund.
The deal, which is worth £6m+, has been led by TOWER’s major shareholders, Just Arne Storvik and Tor Erland Fysken, and backed by Investec.
Theale based TOWER provides environmentally friendly, cold chain packaging solutions to the pharmaceutical industry. The company has been receiving support from FSE since 2016 when it secured its first TVB Growth Fund equity investment. The Growth Fund also led a syndicate of follow-on investment of £1m in 2017, to further support the company’s growth.
At the time of the initial investment, the company had 7 employees. Investment from the TVB Growth Fund, alongside other investors, has enabled the company to grow to 23 employees, with representatives in key pharmaceutical hubs across the globe. This figure is expected to grow further as the business uses its latest funding to expand its fleet of rental containers by 400%.
Chris Pollard, Chief Executive at TOWER, said: “At the time TOWER met FSE it was less a start-up, more a small company believing it had the opportunity to become a great deal bigger and more profitable. TVB’s investment and FSE’s associated support was of enormous significance for two reasons: first, because we needed cash to invest in new stock, but second, and perhaps even more importantly, it represented a real validation of TOWER’s prospects and undoubtedly played a part in generating confidence amongst both customers and investors. Beyond that, the part played by Julie Silvester as a Board observer cannot be underestimated, bringing an extra dimension to the corporate governance of the business. I am extremely grateful to FSE, particularly Julie and our fund manager, Kiko Duffy, for the part they played in enabling this latest step forward for TOWER.”
Julie Silvester, Head of Commercial at The FSE Group, which manages the TVB Growth Fund on behalf of Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), added: “We are delighted to have been a part of TOWER’s journey to a successful business on the cusp of exponential growth and we wish Chris and the team every success in the next part of their journey. The TVB Funding Escalator is all about supporting companies with the potential to impact on the regional economy, promoting job creation and economic prosperity, and we look forward to helping more businesses achieve this.”
The proceeds from the sale of The TVB Growth Fund equity investment will be recycled into new investments or loans to support companies in the Berkshire area. TVB Growth Fund is part of Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator, an initiative funded by Thames Valley Berkshire LEP to support businesses in Berkshire. The escalator, which also includes an expansion loan scheme and a trade finance loan scheme, provides eligible companies – from start-up to established – with debt and equity funding between £25,000 and £300,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities.