Victorian Business Growth Fund

The $250 million Victorian Business Growth Fund (VBGF) is now open to support long?term growth opportunities for businesses and boost employment and economic development across the State.

Established by the Victorian Government and First State Super, the Fund will operate for 10 years and will help to address barriers faced by successful small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are ready to grow their business but can’t access the funds or find the right partner they need to take the next step.

Providing support to businesses with strong long-term growth prospects that are having difficulty accessing capital is even more critical as a measure to help drive economic recovery and growth in the wake of the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Fund will back permanent, high-skilled jobs in priority areas of the economy; jobs that improve workforce diversity, jobs for people that have been unemployed or have a harder time gaining employment and jobs for people trying to reskill and for apprentices.

Roc Partners has been engaged to manage the VBGF. The VBGF will be operated out of a new Victorian office, ensuring local knowledge is leveraged to support the success of the Fund.

How it works
Roc Partners was selected as the independent fund manager to operate the VBGF.

All investment decisions will be made by Roc Partners based on a commercial assessment about the potential growth and return profile for the business, governed by an investment mandate agreed by the Victorian Government and First State Super.

The Victorian Government will have no involvement in investment decisions.

The Fund will invest in businesses on commercial terms and take either an equity or debt stake in businesses, rather than providing a grant. The fund manager will be targeting a commercial return on its investment and will also provide strategic insights, expertise and commercial experience to accelerate growth outcomes for Fund investments.

Roc Partners will deal fairly and transparently with existing business owners as the terms of the VBGF’s investment in businesses is negotiated, in line with the terms of the Fund as agreed by the Victorian Government, First State Super and Roc Partners. The fund manager will share with existing shareholders information on the implications on the governance arrangements as a consequence of receiving an investment from the VBGF to ensure they are informed before entering the transaction.

Eligibility criteria
While the Victorian Government will not be involved in direct investment decisions, the Government has worked alongside First State Super and Roc Partners in determining the eligibility criteria for the Fund to ensure that they benefit Victoria.

The Fund will consider businesses that:

– present a compelling growth opportunity to Victoria, meaning that it is expected to lead to growth in a Victorian business, fund growth of a business expanding into Victoria, lead to meaningful job creation in Victoria or add meaningful capital investment in Victoria;
– have annual revenue of between $5 million and $100 million;
– have no more than $250 million in assets; and
– have positive cash flow, or cash flow is expected to be positive during the investment.

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