Cranfield University-based BHR Group closes investment round with Business Growth Fund

The Business Growth Fund's latest investment has seen research and engineering company BHR Group pocket £2.6 million.

BHR Group will begin a period of growing its core consultancy services and commercialisation of intellectual property following a funding round.

Having grown out of the British Hydromechanics Research Association as a fluid engineering consultancy, BHR is based at Cranfield University.

With clients including Shell and Sellafield, BHR consults in a design and project management capacity on projects ranging from the mixture of nano-fluids to high-value engineering systems.

Raghbir Chand, who has served as managing director at BHR since August 2011, comments, ‘We have been seeking a long-term strategic partner that is able to not only offer the capital investment that we need to deliver the identified growth opportunities but also understands BHR’s history of innovation and shares our passion for supporting our loyal and increasingly international client base.’

Chand adds that the £2.6 million banked from the Business Growth Fund (BGF) will help to ‘rapidly modernise’ the company’s existing facility at Cranfield as well as finance new ‘state of the art’ equipment.

Alongside the investment, the £2.5 billion bank-backed BGF has facilitated the bringing on of Michael Stevens as chairman and Paul Winstanley as non-executive director. Stevens used to be CEO of Linx Printing Technologies while Winstanley has held the position of president and CEO of QinetiQ’s USA operations. Both hold other board positions with a range of businesses.

BGF’s involvement with the company will also include an active role on the board, through senior investment manager Jonathan Earl – with Aaron Baker as an observer.

The BGF now as a range of business services companies in its portfolio, including ATM products and services firm Cennox and external property services company TCL Group.

More on recent BGF deals:

Earl says, ‘BHR has a solid underlying business capable of continued growth, as well as significant IP [intellectual property] which the company has started to commercialise.

‘The quality of service that it provides helps other businesses to maximise their investment across a huge array of sectors and applications and being the market leader, BHR is well placed to expand its presence in the field of fluid engineering.’

BHR’s staff of scientists, engineers and commercial staff currently stands at 84. The business now has plans to move into new markets such as the Middle East to service what it sees as a ‘great demand’ for its expertise.

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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Venture capital funding