Our partnerships with management teams are designed to build scale and value in line with their original vision for their business. Whether the target for our investment is to execute buy and build acquisition strategies, organic growth plans or capital investment programmes, the combination of capital, strategic input, operational expertise and non-executive talent that we bring to those partnerships can have a transformational impact.
But our ability to realise the value created for all shareholders is the ultimate test.
Chris Hurley, Chief Portfolio Officer at LDC, said: “In the last three years, we’ve led over 30 processes, generating proceeds of more than £2bn and an average money multiple of 2.5x and an IRR of 37% - a track record we’re proud of.
“This has been achieved across every exit scenario. From high quality trade buyers in the UK and overseas to company flotations to new private equity funders, our teams work closely with management teams to assess every opportunity for achieve the optimal financial and strategic outcome.”
Following a 10-year partnership, electronic testing group Microlease was acquired by US-based Electro Rent Corporation earlier this year to create a global leader in its field.
LDC originally backed a £30m management buyout of the firm, with a growth strategy based on expanding its global footprint and technical expertise through acquisition and investment.
It subsequently bought and integrated six complementary businesses in the UK, US and Europe, growing revenues from £17m in 2006 to more than £100m in 2016, while profits grew from £6m to £35m.
The sale generated a money multiple of 3.5x.
In 2013, LDC invested £22m for a minority stake in premium lifestyle brand Joules to support the next phase of its successful growth strategy.
With its British heritage and premium positioning, the business was well-placed to capitalise on overseas demand for its brand, as well as expanding its UK store footprint and multi-channel offering following significant growth in customers.
Over the next two years, Joules grew its UK portfolio from 61 to 98 stores, while also investing in its supply chain, IT, international sales support offices and people.
Total sales from its distinctive collection of clothing, accessories and homewares grew by 50 per cent to £116.4m, including a tripling of international sales, which reached £10.6m.
In May 2016, Joules completed a £140m listing on AIM, raising £77.5m and generating a money multiple of 2.4x.
Property Software Group
In 2013, LDC made a significant investment in the £17.8m management buyout of Property Software Group (PSG) with a vision to accelerate its organic growth and support its buy and build strategy.
The business, which provides cloud-based software for property professionals business, moved to consolidate a fragmented market, buying rival Jupix.
This helped the group to grow sales by 56 per cent between 2014 and 2016, from £10.2m to £15.9m, before it sold to digital media and lead
generation platform Zoopla Property Group (ZPG).
The £75m deal generated a money multiple of 4.2x and put PSG at the heart of one of the UK’s leading online consumer brand groups, including Zoopla, PrimeLocation and uSwitch, which it also acquired from LDC in 2015.
New World Trading Company
In June 2016, after three years of growth, LDC exited its investment in New World Trading Company, generating a 6.1x return in a £50m sale to Graphite.
LDC originally invested £2.7m in the upmarket pub and restaurant business back in 2013.
Between 2013 and 2016, the group expanded quickly from 2 to 14 outlets nationally under five brands, including The Botanist, The Oast House, Smugglers Cove, The Trading House and The Club House.
By 2016, group turnover had almost doubled year-on-year to £17.1m, while pre-tax profits grew by 22 per cent. The group now employs more than 900 people.
The sale also saw the management team reinvest for a significant stake in the business.
Orion was formed, in 2009, with the management buyout of eight commercial radio licences in the Midlands from Global Radio.
LDC subsequently supported the group through a series of station relaunches, including developing the Gem and Free Radio brands, building a business with a weekly audience of more than 1.25 million.
Strong growth followed thanks to continued investment in its brands and content, with group audience share growing 16 per cent year on year to create the leading commercial radio group in the region.
After seven years of financial and strategic support, the group was acquired by one of the world’s most successful media companies, Bauer Media Group, in a deal that generated a money multiple of 2.3x.
In 2011, LDC invested in the secondary buyout of Original Additions, the group behind some of the UK’s best-selling beauty brands including leading eye lash brand, Eylure.
Over five years, we supported the management team’s strategy to enter new international markets while continued organic growth built on the group’s dominant position in the UK.
LDC helped to secure listings for Original Additions’ brands in some of the biggest US retailers, including Target and Walmart, growing annual revenues to £42m.
The group was acquired by US beauty and personal care company PDC Brands in a deal that has accelerated the group’s international expansion ambitions even further.
The investment, which generated a money multiple of 2.3x, saw Original Additions become part of a group with listings in all the major US drug, grocery and specialty retailers, as well as more than 50 markets globally.
LDC exited its investment in IT solutions provider Node4 Holdings in a sale to Bowmark Capital in 2016.
Node4 grew impressively following the LDC backed management buyout in May 2013, increasing revenues from £13m to £28m and more than tripling staff numbers.
During LDC’s tenure Node4 also activated a strategic buy and build strategy that saw it complete three strategic acquisitions, as it capitalised on the growing trend for customers to outsource IT services and favour integrated providers like Node4.
Earlier this year LDC re-invested in Node4 to further support the business’ ambitious three year growth strategy with the business already launching a new website and opening a Nottingham office.
LDC backed the £20m secondary buyout of contract caterers Waterfall, which trades under the brands Caterplus and Taylor Shaw, in 2014.
LDC support the management’s organic growth strategy, which focused on strengthening margins, improving the customer proposition and service delivery in its core care and education markets.
This drove revenue growth from £50m to more than £70m over two years, while also creating more than 500 new jobs.
In 2016, Waterfall was acquired by one of the world’s largest contracted food operators, Elior Group, leaving it strongly positioned to begin its next phase of growth and generating a money multiple of 2.6x.
In 2015, LDC supported the £83m secondary buyout of Synexus, one of the world’s largest recruiters of patients for pharmaceutical trials.
Synexus owns and operates 25 clinical research centres in eight countries, delivering economies of scale for clients and boosting speed-to-market for new drugs.
Our investment backed the management’s organic growth strategy, combined with acquisitions designed to consolidate the global market and grow Synexus’ footprint.
It bought US firm Research Across America, as well as opening new research centres in Bulgaria, Poland and Romania, strengthening its market-leading position in Europe.
In 2016, the group was acquired by Jaguar Holding Company Luxembourg in a deal that valued the business at £178m, generating a money multiple of 2.3x.