Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Antrim sports equipment company Golf Network expands with £400k funding

Golf Network, the brand behind MD Golf, sells golf clubs, bags and accessories in the mid-market range, all of which are assembled in Northern Ireland.

An Antrim sports equipment company is to expand its export base after securing £400,000 worth of finance from the Growth Loan Fund.

Golf Network, the brand behind MD Golf, said it will use the money to market its wares at international trade shows and develop existing export links amongst the 30 countries in Europe, Asia and Australia it already sells to.

The 17-year-old company sells golf clubs, bags and accessories in the mid-market range, all of which are assembled in Northern Ireland. It has an exclusive licensee deal with Aston Martin to sell its equipment in showrooms around the world and through large multi-national retailers. Michael Morton, managing director of Golf Network, has ambitious plans.

"Northern Ireland's golfers have had great success in recent years, which gives us an excellent base, but we're keen to keep pushing and growing. Our philosophy is that if there is somewhere in the world where people are playing golf, we want to be there. The support of WhiteRock Capital Partners will underpin this approach and help us get our products in people's hands, where they can see the quality for themselves."

Finance for the £50m Growth Loan Fund – which provides loans to established Northern Ireland SMEs seeking to access growth finance – has been provided by Invest NI and private investor, Northern Ireland Local Government Officers' Superannuation Committee.

WhiteRock Capital Partners LLP was established in 2012 to manage the Fund by the consortium of three partners – Strathtay Ventures Ltd, NEL Fund Managers and Clarendon Fund Managers – all of which are authorised and regulated by the FCA.

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