Midlands based Shuropody to expand its national footprint with BGF investment

Third investment in Midlands businesses for BGF

Birmingham, Midlands, 10 September 2012 – Business Growth Fund (BGF), established to help the UK’s fast growing smaller and medium sized businesses, today announced that is has invested £3 million of growth capital in Shuropody, the UK’s leading specialist footcare provider.

Midlands based Shuropody has local branches in Birmingham, Coventry, Leamington Spa and Stratford-Upon-Avon within its 63-strong national network.

This investment was led by BGF’s seven strong Birmingham team and is its third investment in Midlands based businesses to date.

The investment will allow Shuropody to expand upon its current garden centre based sites, as well as the introduction of new community service locations. It is expected this will generate another 200 jobs over the next three years.

BGF’s ability to structure investments flexibly to best meet a particular company’s financing needs enabled it to split the £3 million growth capital investment into £1.5 million of ordinary shares and £1.5 million of loan notes.

Shuropody delivered sales of £15.8 million in the year ending 31 December 2011 and is expecting sales to double over the next 3 years. Headquartered in Coventry and founded in 2007, Shuropody offers podiatry services and comfort-focused footwear products. Initially opening a handful of stores in 2007, the company grew rapidly following its purchase of 43 stores from Boots, in July 2008. The business now operates from 63 standalone stores and concessions across the UK and is the second largest provider of podiatry services behind the NHS, with 400 employees, of whom almost 150 are medically qualified podiatrists.

Shuropody was founded by Managing Director Frank Duffy who has been involved in the manufacture and retail of footwear and general clothing since 1978. He previously spent four years as Group CEO of R Griggs Group which famously produced Dr. Marten’s shoes. Gordon Horsfield acts as Non-Executive Chairman and was previously Chairman of Drax Group Plc where he led the restructuring programme before listing the business on the London Stock Exchange in 2005.

Ian Downing, Investment Director of BGF, commented:

“Shuropody is a unique business which is already a market leader in its sector. It has the potential to substantially increase its geographic footprint across the UK with an active roll out programme that expects to generate up to 200 jobs. The business model is well placed for expansion into garden centre concessions and is already working with two of the largest garden centre operators in the UK.

“Shuropody is also ideally placed to provide high quality podiatry services to patients as the NHS continues to outsource services that are expensive and complex to manage.

“BGF has been able to provide a flexible funding structure which has been very attractive to the management team and we are now focused on supporting the roll out and strengthening our e-commerce offering.”

Frank Duffy, Managing Director of Shuropody commented:

“Our business has continued to evolve over the last five years as we have positioned the company for future growth. BGF was able to provide us with an attractive funding structure that we needed in order to realise the growth opportunities that we wish to secure. We have a unique model and BGF’s involvement will assist in accelerating Shuropody’s profile nationally. We have been especially impressed by the straightforwardness and integrity of the BGF team and their speed of decision-making.

“BGF will provide us with expertise and high level contacts; they will have representation on our board and will help us to further strengthen our organisation. The BGF team has a strong track record of working with companies and helping them with the challenges associated with growth and we are very much looking forward to partnering with them.”