2014 saw another strong performance delivered by our teams in Birmingham and Nottingham, driven by confidence in the Midlands around business prospects and associated merger and acquisition activity.
We completed a blend of new investments, strategic exits and further support for buy and builds within our existing portfolio, all of which we worked alongside ambitious management teams realising their vision for business growth. Each one of these successes has their own story to tell and a number of these businesses are covered in more detail in the latest edition of our annual newsletter – Made in the Midlands.
The business confidence in the region in 2014 saw us complete a significant investment to support the £42million management buy-out of leading sports ammunition manufacturer, Eley Group, as well as the £30million acquisition of Prism Medical UK, a leading manufacturer and provider of specialist mobility equipment.
Building on this, 2015 has started promisingly for LDC in the Midlands. We completed the £307million acquisition of the National Exhibition Centre Group from Birmingham City Council, the largest transaction in LDC’s 30-year history, followed by an investment to support the growth of Aspin Group, a leading provider of infrastructure solutions and the secondary buy-out of leading holiday parks operator Away Resorts.
2014 also saw us deliver three successful realisations – Angel Springs, Benson Group and Nuclear Engineering Services – that were collectively valued in excess of £96million, with an aggregate IRR of 34%.
LDC has a long tradition of investing in the manufacturing sector and in 2014, we announced that we are committing to invest £550million in the sector by end of 2016. We are already at £310million of the commitment so still a great amount of capital to invest within this exciting sector.
Away from the boardroom, our partnership with Birmingham Children’s Hospital continues to grow. This year we will be supporting The Big Hoot, the city’s biggest ever mass participation public art event where 80+ wonderfully designed 5ft owl sculptures will be landing all over the City, the project aims to raise £500,000 for the hospital. We continue to provide kit and financial support to promising athletes at Birchfield Harriers Athletics Club, and our annual charity quiz and golf day raised thousands of pounds for local good causes.
This forms part of an exciting year for LDC, and we look forward to working with the financial and business communities in the Midlands throughout 2015 and beyond.
I hope you enjoy this year’s ‘Made in the Midlands’.
Martin J. Draper