As part of its half year results, Mercia Technologies has announced the first closing of EV Growth II with initial commitments totalling £45.1million.

The new fund EV Growth II, which will be led by Wayne Thomas, will make investments of up to £5million in established and ambitious SMEs looking to grow, with a focus on management buyouts and replacement capital.

It has closed with commitments from institutions and private individuals, including three Mercia Fund Managers team members, who will be responsible for managing the new fund and who were instrumental in managing its successful predecessor fund, EVG I.

Earlier this year Mercia reported two full exits from the predecessor fund portfolio: ChargePoint Technology, Barber DTS and the partial exit from Woodall Nicholson, which together delivered an aggregate return of 4.6x to investors.

The team will work with Operational Partners Warwick Ley and former BVCA UK CEO of the year, Brian Davidson, who have both made individual commitments to the fund.

Jonathan Diggines, executive director of Mercia Technologies, who has been instrumental in raising the EV Funds said: “EV Growth II will be investing in some of the most dynamic businesses in the UK regions, particularly in the North of England, which is one of Mercia’s core investment regions.

“We will typically take minority positions alongside the management team so that we can work together to generate growth and deliver attractive returns for management and for Fund investors.”

Wayne Thomas, fund manager of EV Growth II said: “The first Growth Fund demonstrated that we can identify, fund and help build outstanding businesses, run by extremely capable and ambitious management teams.

“Our experience, over many years investing in SMEs in the UK regions, shows that, to unlock growth and value, a business needs not just access to capital, it also needs strategic input and a patient, long term management approach, values which are fundamental to Mercia’s investment ethos.”