YFM GOing for gold

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Venture capital investor YFM Equity Partners has been shortlisted for the part it has played in backing the growth of Sheffield-based leading UK outdoor clothing and equipment firm GO Outdoors.

The firm has been shortlisted in the Venture Capital Trust Deal of the Year category of the Unquote British Private Equity Awards.

YFM Equity Partners backed a management buyout at Go Outdoors in 1998 and partially realised its investment this year when venture capital group 3i took a stake in the firm, which was named one of the three fastest growing private equity-backed companies in the UK this year.

The founders, management and YFM Equity Partners continue to hold significant stakes in the company, based just off Bramall Lane, whose value was believed to exceed £100m following the 3i investment.

GO Outdoors has grown rapidly in recent years. The Hill Street company’s expansion has been by acquiring stores in large out-of-town locations and offering a wide range of products at highly competitive prices.

The group has 30 stores and plans to add another 40 over the next four years.

Following 3i’s £28m investment, GO Outdoors secured a £30m re-financing deal with Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets in Sheffield.

That deal gave it £12.2m of additional funding to grow its Hi gear, North Ridge and Freedom Trail own brands.

Individuals can vote for YFM Equity Partners work with GO Outdoors to be acknowledge VCT Deal of the Year by visiting the www.unquote.com website and follow the link to the Unquote British Private Equity Awards pages.