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BGF invests £4M into Molecular Products Group

Thursday 25th September 2014

BGF builds on its record of backing British manufacturers with £4m investment into Molecular Products Group

BGF, the independent company established to help Britain’s growing businesses, has built on its record of backing British manufacturers by injecting £4m of growth capital into Molecular Products Group Limited (“MPG”), a developer and manufacturer of medical devices, gas filters and oxygen generators.

It marks the twentieth growth capital investment that BGF has made to help UK manufacturing-led businesses realise their growth ambitions.  It also brings the total invested into the chemical technology sector to nearly £7m, coming shortly after BGF’s investment in BHR Group, an expert fluid engineering consultancy.

MPG is headquartered in Harlow and this is the second investment that BGF has made into an Essex based company in the last month.  It backed Rayleigh-based Flowline at the end of June.

The company is owned by the McKernan family and managed by Ian (Group CEO) and Andrew (Group Commercial Director).  Its manufacturing facilities are based in Harlow, Essex and in Boulder, Colorado, from which it makes sales throughout the world to customers through a network of subsidiaries and distributors. Molecular Products Group is currently generating revenues of c. £20m.

The company’s chemical based technology is applied in a number of specialised and demanding end-markets within the healthcare, military and industrial sectors with customers including the MoD.  MPG was also commissioned by NASA to design and build an emergency oxygen system for the International Space Station.

BGF’s investment will enable the company to build share in existing markets as well enter new geographies such as India and Japan and to deliver further innovations in its product lines.  Key new technologies in development include high performance activated carbons, which offer enhanced filtration and asorption of harmful gases for use in military and industrial respirators; and a portable lightweight oxygen generator that delivers emergency medical grade, oxygen to the battlefield.

Paul Barnard joined the MPG Board as Non Executive Chairman at the completion of BGF’s investment. Paul’s executive career included 14 years at ITW Inc (the final two as President of the Fluids Platform business) and 6 years as Group MD at Rocol. Paul was introduced to MPG via BGF’s Talent Network of experienced business leaders.

BGF Senior Investment Manager, Mark Nunny, who joins the board of Molecular Products Group, commented:

“Molecular Products has established strong defensible niche positions in otherwise competitive end markets through developing a differentiated portfolio of products as well as its pipeline of opportunities it has created over its recent history. It has established itself as a major international player in its chosen markets.

“With the momentum of fresh investment behind it, the business is ready to develop its product offering and expand into new markets – all of which make for an exciting growth story which we are very pleased to be a part of.”

Ian McKernan, Group CEO of Molecular Products Group commented:

“Molecular Products is excited about BGF’s participation in the Group.  The investment will enable the further growth of the business through market expansion and the introduction of leading-edge filters and systems.  The addition of experienced top calibre personnel to the Senior Management Team will add to the strength of the business.”

MPG is banked by HSBC.

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Note to Editors

The BGF investment team included Mark Nunny, Mark Bryant, Chris Hodges and Will Gresty.

Advisers to the transaction:


  • FDD: Neil James
  • Tax due diligence: Mark Fieldon, Grant Thornton
  • Legal documentation and diligence: Adrian Seagars, Birkett’s LLP


  • Advisors: David Ascott and Rupesh Patel, Grant Thornton
  • Legal: Pippa Pearce, Mills and Reeve

About BGF:

BGF is an independent company that has been established to help Britain’s growing businesses with a turnover between £5m-£100m.  Growth potential is the key criteria. BGF will invest between £2m and £10m per business in return for a minority equity stake and a seat on the board for a BGF director. BGF will provide long-term equity investment for those growing companies that today do not have access to this source of capital.  As such BGF hopes to be a catalyst for growth among smaller UK companies.

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