Business fund gives Boost a lift with £2.5m injection

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The bank-backed Business Growth Fund has taken a stake in juice and smoothie chain, Boost.

The owners of Boost Richard and Dawn O’Sullivan, the team behind Millie’s Cookies have sold a minority stake in the drink company to the Business Growth Fund (BGF) for £2.5m.

Mr and Mrs O’Sullivan will use the cash to fund Boost’s roll-out programme. Boost currently has 10 stores across Britain but it is looking to inc­rease to 40 stores over the next three years. The company blends the fresh fruit drinks in front of customers.

The BGF was set up last year by Britain’s largest banks including Barclays (LSE: BARC.L - news) , HSBC (LSE: HSBA.L - news) , Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS.L - news) , and Standard Chartered (Other OTC: SCBFF - news) to fill a gap in the market for funding businesses with a turnover of between £10m and £100m. Following the deal, Andy Gregory, the BGF’s regional director for the North of England, will join the board of Boost.

Boost was founded in Adelaide, Australia, by Janine Allis in 2003 and has nearly 200 sites throughout the country.

Since 2003, Boost has also grown outside Australia, and is now operating in more than 20 other countries including South Africa, Chile, Estonia, Germany, Kuwait, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, India, China and Russia.

Mr and Mrs O’Sullivan bought the rights to exclus­ively operate Boost in the UK and Republic of Ireland (OTC BB: IRLD - news) in 2007.