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Statement from the CEO with regards to the Coronavirus outbreak

Press release 20 March 2020

Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO, British Business Investments

All of us have already been affected in some way by the spread of the Coronavirus and the Covid-19 outbreak. This is obviously a very challenging time and although the near-term outlook is uncertain, we remain committed to the continued delivery of our investment programme.

As I am sure you will appreciate, the health and wellbeing of all colleagues is our top priority. Therefore, following government advice, the British Business Investments team is now working from home. Future internal and external meetings will be conducted via video conference to comply with the government’s guidance on social distancing.

Fortunately, we have robust, tested and secure IT infrastructure in place and have enacted our Business Continuity Plan. All our team members are equipped with the hardware and software they need to fully carry out their roles remotely.

In short, we are very much open for business.

You will be aware that we have a large portfolio and multiple potential investments at different stages of development. We would therefore like to reassure all of our existing and potential partners of the following:

  • Portfolio partners – we are able to meet all drawdown requests and process any distributions in accordance with our agreements;
  • Partners in the fundraising process to which we have already committed capital as part of a first or subsequent closing – we will continue to support you in your fund raising and new investment activities;
  • Partners in the process of completing a fund closing but where we have not yet subscribed – we will move forward with the legal execution process in line with our previous commitments to you;
  • Partners where we have commenced due diligence and met with your team in person – we will continue the due diligence process holding virtual meetings only;
  • Partners at earlier stages of fund raising or where we have initiated contact recently – we will follow our usual processes, but without on-site visits or meetings at our offices. As a result the time periods to take proposals forward may be extended.

These issues will take time to resolve and both the economy and daily life will experience a period of interruption before returning to normality, nevertheless we have every confidence in our sector, and continue to support our fund managers and the wider UK economy.