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Four businesses from across the North West, Midlands & East have been awarded for their exceptional performances in 2022

Publish Date 8 Sep 2023
Categories Awards
Four businesses from across the North West, Midlands & East have been awarded for their exceptional performances in 2022.
The APEM Group based in Stockport and Findel from Hyde, alongside Upperton from Nottingham and Precision Micro from Erdington, all received the recognition as part of the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association’s (BVCA) ‘Vision 2023’.

Vision 2023, produced in collaboration with Grant Thornton, celebrates the standout management teams backed by the BVCA’s private equity and venture capital members.

Businesses were assessed on the criteria of growth, competitiveness, innovation, ESG factors, with judges considering the companies’ focus on the future as well as past performance.

Representatives from each of the recognised companies received a trophy at a ceremonial dinner in Manchester last night.

Back 2 Work Group based in the North-West were also marked by judges as ‘One to watch’.

Michael Moore, Chief Executive of the BVCA, said:

“The exceptional performance demonstrated by these outstanding companies, illustrates the many benefits that private capital can bring to organisations and the broader community.

In these challenging economic times, private capital is supporting businesses across the North West, Midlands and East to grow and innovate.”

Neil Robinson, Transaction Advisory Partner, Grant Thornton, said:

“The four companies recognised, with the support of private capital, have excelled over the past year through innovation, sustainable growth and job creation across the North West, Midland and East.

We are delighted to support the Vision awards programme and to celebrate the success of the management teams of APEM Group, Upperton, Findel and Precision Micro.”

Read the awards booklet


The recognised firms
APEM Group backed by WestBridge

APEM Group are an environmental and geospatial consultancy that also helps with the transition to renewable energy. The organisation demonstrated outstanding growth, both organically and via M&A. APEM Group achieved 7 x EBITDA growth, 6 x revenue growth, employee numbers growing from 130 to 650 since investment, which led judges to deem the company as one of the standout winners at the ceremony.

Upperton backed by Inflexion

Upperton is a Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisation (CDMO), supporting the development of pharmaceutical dosage forms. Similarly, to APEM Group, Upperton was also a standout winner at the ceremony with judges recognising their rapid growth. Their EBITDA was £400k in 2020, growing to £6.2m this year, and their revenue grew from £2m to £11.5m in that same time period. Upperton has a female CEO, which is a rarity in the pharma sector.

Findel backed by Endless

Headquartered in Cheshire, Findel is a leading educational resources distributor, operating in the UK and internationally, supplying nurseries, primary and secondary schools. It is the corporate umbrella for several trading brands (Hope, GLS, Davies Sports, Philip Harris and Scandiborn), each of which has its own personality and purpose, targeting different customer groups and specialisms. Over the past 2 years, Findel have strengthened their management teams, growth and culture through investment support by Endless, which has allowed the organisation to re-find its identity and unleash its potential.

Precision Micro backed by LDC

Precision Micro is a specialist engineering company based in Birmingham. The business provides an industry-leading photochemical etching process which outperforms traditional metal technologies. Through investment from LDC, Precision Micro have developed their competitive edge, increased operational capacity, excelled in waste management while achieving a 50% growth in employee numbers over a 3-year period.

Back 2 Work Group backed by Palatine - marked as ‘One to watch’

Back 2 Work Group ("B2W") is a national skills and training provider predominantly focused on delivering funded Pre-Employment Training (PET), with diversification since investment into apprenticeships and longer-term unemployment support. B2W has delivered a number of successful employment opportunities for individuals with the business supporting over 10,000 learners per annum. It continues to grow following the Just IT Training acquisition in 2022, which is expected to deliver c.£2m EBITDA in the next year.

Read the awards booklet


You can read more about the recognised businesses in the judging booklet here, or more about Vision 2023 on its webpage, here.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Karen Keany, BVCA: KKeany@bvca.co.uk


Notes to editors

About the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association

The BVCA, as the representative body for private equity and venture capital, connects institutional investors, fund managers, companies, advisers and service providers together, with our membership currently comprising more than 650 businesses from across the private capital ecosystem. This includes more than 325 PE and VC firms, 100 institutional investors and 220 professional services firms.

Private capital drives growth – providing the funding, expertise and long-term view that enables companies to innovate and flourish. Our mission is to advocate the transformative nature of the private equity and venture capital community.


About Grant Thornton UK LLP

Grant Thornton is one of the world’s leading organisations of independent assurance, tax and advisory firms. We are an adviser that delivers technical expertise and a personal, proactive and agile service that goes beyond.

The UK member firm is part of a global network that employs 58,000 people in 135 countries. We combine global scale with local insight and understanding to build relationships and deliver the services you need to realise your ambitions.

The UK Grant Thornton member firm is led by over 200 partners and employs over 5000 of the profession’s brightest minds. We are a business adviser that celebrates fresh thinking and diverse perspectives to bring you proactive insights and a service you can trust.

Find out more at www.grantthornton.co.uk.