Business Growth Fund laces up with Shuropody investment

Footcare business Shuropody has become the third Midlands-based company to be backed by the Business Growth Fund.

The Business Growth Fund, which is headed up by Stephen Welton, has invested £3 million into Shuropody, a company which provides podiatry services and footwear products.

Shuropody has 63 branches across the UK and will now use the growth capital to expand its current garden centre-based sites and introduce new community service locations.

According to the Coventry-headquartered retail business, the plans are set to create 200 new jobs over the next three years.

Under the terms of the deal, the Business Growth Fund has structured the deal whereby £1.5 million is in ordinary shares while the remaining balance is made up of loan notes.

Frank Duffy, founder and managing director of Shuropody, previously spent four years as group CEO of R Griggs Group, the business behind Dr. Marten’s shoes.

Duffy comments, ‘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.

‘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.’

For the year to date 31 December 2011, Shuropody reported sales of £15.8 million and now expects the figure to double over the coming three years.

Ian Downing, investment director at BGF, adds, ‘The business model is well placed for expansion into the 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.’

While the investment is the BGF’s first since July, speaking to GrowthBusiness back in August, Welton said that he is firm in his belief that the company can scale and leverage its infrastructure up so that it can be completing 30 to 40 deals per year.

Hunter Ruthven

Bernard Williamson

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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