Press Release: Luke Johnson supports Small Business Britain through Beer & Partners
Strategic investment allows serial entrepreneur to tap into early stage companies
London, 26 April 2010
Beer & Partners, the UK’s largest business investment agency, and Luke Johnson, columnist for the FT and former chairman of Channel 4, today announced that they are joining forces to support the future of Small Business Britain. Luke has become a strategic shareholder in Beer & Partners, which provides innovative start-up and smaller companies with much-needed access to capital.
Luke has acquired a 27.4% stake in Beer & Partners, making him the largest single investor in the company. His investment will give him a direct route to support the 100-strong network of small businesses that Beer & Partners works with annually.
Luke Johnson, founder and chairman of Risk Capital Partners comments: “I believe that entrepreneurs are a crucial driving force in our economy. I’ve been writing 'The Entrepreneur' column in the Financial Times for several years and think the growth opportunities at this vibrant end of business are exciting and potentially very rewarding. By becoming part of Beer & Partners and its network, I will be able to provide far greater support and tap into a wider pool of ambitious entrepreneurs than I ever could by myself.
Luke also adds: “Angel investors are the only realistic option for these early-stage companies. Currently banks are barely open for business, or tend to offer loans on unattractive terms, so the need for equity capital is greater than ever. What’s more, since current low interest rates give savers such poor returns, more and more angel investors are emerging that have a strong appetite for direct investment in small companies. Using a business angel network, such as Beer & Partners, entrepreneurs can get access to a huge pool of potential investment and expertise.”
Dr Roy Bichan, recently appointed Chairman at Beer & Partners said: “Working with Luke is a great opportunity for Beer & Partners to benefit from his extensive experience in the business and investment world. At a time when many small companies are struggling to find the backing they need, it’s heartening to know that successful entrepreneurs like Luke are willing to support them by facilitating access to capital.”
Luke will also be attending the upcoming Beer & Partners Investment Fair in London on 18th May, a market place where investors and businesses can meet face to face and discuss mutually beneficial opportunities.
For further details on the London Investment Fair please Click Here.
About Luke Johnson
Luke Johnson is chairman of the Royal Society of Arts and runs Risk Capital Partners, a private equity firm. He studied medicine at Oxford and subsequently joined investment bank Kleinwort Benson as an analyst. In 1992 he organised the acquisition of PizzaExpress and floated the business on the stock market at 40p. He was chairman of the business until 1999, at which time the share price was over 800p and the business had a market capitalisation of over £500m. He sits on the board of Interquest, Giraffe, Seafood Holdings, Patisserie Valerie and APT Controls. Previously he was Chairman of Signature Restaurants and a Director of IDH. He is the former chairman of Channel 4 Television Corporation.
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