UK footware specialist Shuropody walks off with BGF investment


UK SME investor Business Growth Fund (BGF) has provided £3m of growth capital to specialist footcare company Shuropody.

Midlands-based Shuropody has local branches in Birmingham, Coventry, Leamington Spa and Stratford-Upon-Avon.

This investment was led by BGF’s Birmingham team and is its third investment in Midlands-based businesses to date, following the £4.8m investment in Wolverhampton-based Wow! Stuff and the £10m investment in Lincoln-based GCI Com.

The investment will allow Shuropody to expand upon its current garden centre-based sites, it said, as well as the introduction of new community service locations.

BGF split the £3m growth capital investment into £1.5m of ordinary shares and £1.5m of loan notes.

Shuropody delivered sales of £15.8m in the year ending December 31 2011 and is expecting sales to double over the next three years.

Headquartered in Coventry and founded in 2007, Shuropody offers podiatry services and comfort-focused footwear products.

Initially opening a handful of stores in 2007, the company grew rapidly following its purchase of 43 stores from Boots, in July 2008.

The business now operates from 63 standalone stores and concessions across the UK and is the second largest provider of podiatry services behind the NHS, with 400 employees.

The company was founded by managing director Frank Duffy, who previously spent four years as group CEO of R Griggs Group which famously produced Dr Marten’s shoes.

Gordon Horsfield acts as non-executive chairman and was previously chairman of Drax Group where he led the restructuring programme before listing the business on the London Stock Exchange in 2005.

Ian Downing, investment director of BGF, said, “Shuropody is a unique business which is already a market leader in its sector.

“It has the potential to substantially increase its geographic footprint across the UK with an active roll out programme that expects to generate up to 200 jobs.

“The business model is well placed for expansion into 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.

“BGF has been able to provide a flexible funding structure which has been very attractive to the management team and we are now focused on supporting the roll out and strengthening our e-commerce offering.”

BGF is an independent company with capital of up to £2.5bn, backed by five of the UK’s main banking groups – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS and Standard Chartered.

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