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Foresight invests £2.5 million into Sprint Electric

20 April 2023

Foresight Group, a regional private equity & infrastructure investment manager, has invested £500,000 through the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), alongside £2 million from its VCTs, into Sprint Electric.

Sprint Electric designs and manufactures drives for controlling industrial motors. The investment will enable the final development and commercialisation of a new range of variable speed drives (VSD) for the alternating current (AC) motor market, with power regeneration capability that increases energy efficiency

The new product will also provide access to the large AC VSD market – estimated to be valued at £16 billion per annum. 

Sprint Electric has worked with the University of Nottingham as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership – a UK-wide, part grant-funded scheme helping businesses of all sizes to innovate using the knowledge and expertise of UK universities. 

The company currently employs 18 people and, in 2022, reported £3 million in sales. Working with Foresight, Sprint Electric plans to use the investment to scale its operations and drive growth. 

At investment, Tim Routsis will join the board as Non-Executive Chair. Tim’s background includes 10 years as Managing Director of automotive engineering company Cosworth and eight years as CEO of Cox Powertrain. His expertise will help the company grow and significantly increase its market share. 

Commenting on the investment, Gary Keen, Co-Managing Director of Sprint Electric, said: "We are excited to work with an investment partner who shares our passion for green energy and understands the potential of the drive technology we have developed with our colleagues at the University of Nottingham. 

“We welcome the appointment of Tim to the board and the wealth of experience he has in leading cutting-edge engineering businesses. This will be invaluable as we commercialise the new product range, expand our operation's footprint and accelerate our sales growth." 

Hugh Minnock, Investment Director at Foresight, added: “It is great to support Sprint Electric as they look to bring a new product to market. With our investment and support, the team will be in a great position to benefit from the potential market opportunities.

"We look forward to working with Mark, Gary, Tim and the rest of the team to enable the next phase of their growth.” 

Mark Wilcockson, Senior Investment Manager at the British Business Bank, concluded: "The Midlands Engine Investment Fund backs innovative SMEs, many of which are university spin-outs. Sprint Electric is a Midlands-based company with growth potential and the funding will enable the company to accelerate these ambitious plans, further develop its cutting-edge technology, and drive wider economic growth in the Midlands region." 

“Promoting low-carbon growth is one of D2N2’s key priorities. It’s fantastic to see our business community working so closely with our university sector on such vital work. I hope other businesses follow Sprint Electric’s lead and access the support that’s available from MEIF and from our innovation ecosystem,” said Will Morlidge, Chief Executive at the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership. 

In the calendar year 2022, Foresight made over 90 investments in SMEs and, since launching MEIF in 2018, Foresight has supported 29 SMEs in the East and South East Midlands. Foresight, in partnership with MEIF, supports promising SMEs to achieve their business objectives and has enabled 379 high-quality, local jobs to be created to date. 

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (“ERDF”) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

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