LDC exits UK2 to The Hut Group

LDC, the UK’s leading private equity investor, has exited its investment in international hosting group UK2 in a sale to The Hut Group (THG), one of the world’s largest online health and beauty retailers and brand owners. 

The transaction value is undisclosed.

LDC originally backed a management buyout of the UK2 Group in 2011 from Cloud Group, supporting the expansion of its portfolio of hosting products whilst accelerating the development of its added-value 100TB offering.

The sale does not include UK2 Group’s US based e-sports business, Digital Chaos, which remains under LDC’s ownership.

THG said the acquisition represented a strategic opportunity to develop the existing proprietary technology platform behind its health and beauty brands, further enhancing its existing server infrastructure, programmatic development and platform security. It now plans to invest heavily behind the existing UK2 management team and highly skilled employee base to support the growth of key brands whilst offering UK2’s services to existing technology clients, including DMGT plc, Nintendo, Unilever, Nectar, Honda, and Elizabeth Arden.

Simon Adcock, Senior Portfolio Director at LDC who has led the process, said: “After a six year journey with LDC, this is an excellent outcome for employees, management, customers and shareholders, and an ideal strategic fit for both businesses. For an ambitious, technology-led group like THG, hosting is mission-critical - UK2 provides a well-invested, plug-in capability to strengthen and enhance their existing infrastructure and support their growth. We wish the business every success for the future.” 

Established in 1998, UK2 operates 7 industry leading brands including 100TB, providing high-performance and dedicated server and cloud services to an international client base of SME and enterprise level corporates coupled with data analytics, shared hosting and domain registration services. It employs over 200 people across 26 global locations including London, US, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, India and South Korea. 

LDC was advised by Torch Partners, Deloitte and CMS.  

Notes to Editors

  1. LDC is the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  
  2. LDC backs ambitious management teams from UK-based medium sized companies seeking up to £100m of investment to fund management buyouts or development capital transactions.
  3. LDC invests in a broad range of sectors and has particular experience in Healthcare, Industrials, Retail & Consumer, TMT, Travel & Leisure, Support Services, Construction & Property and Financial Services.
  4. LDC has a UK regional network with locations in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Newcastle, London, Manchester, Nottingham and Reading.