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27 November, 2019 - 16:06 By Kate Sweeney

BGF’s £2.4m helps drive growth for automotive lynchpin

Investment powerhouse BGF has injected £2.4 million in Norfolk-based bf1systems, a market-leading provider of electronic and electrical solutions for the motorsport and automotive industries.

Founded in 1994, bf1systems designs, manufactures and distributes high-precision components, including steering wheels, tyre pressure and temperature monitoring systems, as well as force measurement components and wiring harness assemblies. 

Based in Diss, bf1systems’ components are used in every major motorsport series around the world, including Formula 1TM, GT racing and Formula E, as well as by performance road cars, with a client list that includes Bugatti, Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin and McLaren.

The business employs more than 100 people at its manufacturing hub in Norfolk. It also has a facility in Romania which was established in 2017 to support and expand its wiring harness production.

The minority investment from BGF will support bf1systems’ long-term growth strategy, including the expansion of its product offering and development of new partnerships.

Adam Robson, chair of BGF-backed composites manufacturer Prodrive Composites, will join the board as non-executive chair.

Graham Peel, managing director of bf1systems, said: “This is excellent news for the team here – testament to the hard work of so many since the business first began 25 years ago. 

“Having BGF’s funding and support for the next stage of our growth journey is fantastic, with a team that understands our ambition and shares our vision for the business. 

“We are also delighted to welcome Adam to our board. His experience and connections will really bolster our own as bf1systems enters this next chapter.”

Hugh Costello, an investor at BGF who will join the board of bf1systems, added: “A long-standing and well-respected member of the motorsport community, bf1systems has built an excellent reputation and fantastic track record. We’re excited to be partnering with the business and supporting management’s future growth plans.”

The investment strengthens BGF’s portfolio in East Anglia which includes Cornwall Insight, the Norwich-based energy market consultancy. The news also closely follows the successful exit of Great Yarmouth-based 3sun Group in the last month.

BGF’s existing manufacturing portfolio includes Scottish component producer Walker Precision Engineering, luxury vehicle paint company Paintbox, Aim-listed wood product builder Accsys Group and Merseyside-headquartered loading systems manufacturer Joloda International.

Advisers to the transaction were: BGF – Mills & Reeve (legal), Wilkins Kennedy (financial) and Grant Thornton (tax); and to bf1systems – JDC Corporate Finance (CF advisory) and Hewitsons (legal).

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