Private equity supports business ambitions

Over a period of three decades, LDC in the Midlands has supported 150 businesses with more than £1.2billion of equity. We have partnered with the most exciting and successful management teams, who all had a unique business, distinctive strategy and ambitious vision. Receiving investment and support from LDC has enabled them to turn their vision into reality.

LDC backs leading pumps solutions business

This month, LDC backed the management buyout of leading water pump and pressure solutions business, Stuart Turner.

The investment will enable the business to accelerate its buy-and-build strategy, targeting further growth in the commercial pumps sector, in addition to supporting international expansion.

Duncan Cooper, former Regional Managing Director at Grundfos, one of the world’s leading pump manufacturers, will join us as Non-Executive Director. He brings more than 20 years’ experience, having led Grundfos’ operations globally in Europe, Africa and the Americas.

Stuart Turner – which posted a turnover of over £22million in September 2016 – made acquisitions of two leading UK pump manufacturers, TWS and Allan Aqua, in the last two years which contributed to its significant growth.

Mark Williams, CEO of Stuart Turner, said: “LDC recognised the growth potential of the business and immediately bought into the existing buy & build acquisition strategy. Importantly, they also saw the opportunities presented by new product introductions and further geographical expansion.

“Partnering with a like-minded investor that not only has a strong track record in our sector, but is able to bring additional non-exec expertise on board, was extremely important to us. We’re looking forward to embarking on the next phase of our growth journey with LDC.”

View Stuart Turner in our portfolio

LDC backs secondary buyout of Addo Food Group

Earlier this year, LDC backed the secondary buyout of Addo Food Group, the UK's leading chilled savoury pastry producer.

Headquartered in Nottingham, Addo produces more than 287 million packs of own brand and branded chilled savoury pastry products every year. These are supplied to the major supermarkets and other food retailers across the UK.

Last year, the business launched its 'Too Good to Be' range of gluten-free sweet and savoury pastry products - the first of its kind – to complement existing product lines including Tottle pork pies, Walls savoury pastry and Pork Farms pork pies.

LDC’s investment will support Addo's continued growth strategy, which will include further investment in product innovation and expansion into new markets through organic growth.

Chris Peters, Group Managing Director at Addo Food Group, said: "We are very excited about our partnership with LDC, to help us further unlock the potential we see in the market.

“LDC has really bought into our vision and plan, and the whole Addo management team is looking forward to working with our customers, our employees and our investment partners to deliver the next exciting phase of our growth story over the coming months and years."

View Addo in our portfolio

LDC exits A-Gas in sale to KKR

In June this year, LDC exited its investment in A-Gas in a sale to global investment firm KKR, having helped the speciality gas and chemical business grow its revenues by 79 per cent and EBITDA by 103 per cent.

LDC originally invested £29million in A-Gas in 2011 to support the group’s growth strategy. This was followed by £30million of additional capital to help the business complete six acquisitions, which were designed to expand its geographic footprint and service capabilities. A-Gas now operates from 16 sites across Europe, Australia, South Africa and North America.

It has also expanded its service capabilities from distribution to full recovery and reclamation of a wide range of environmentally sensitive gases and chemicals, which are used in cooling, refrigeration and fire protection.

Andrew Ambrose, Group CEO of A-Gas, said: “Our partnership with LDC enabled us to build a group with real global scale and breadth of offering. LDC’s financial, strategic and operational support over the last six years has been a key ingredient in our success – it’s helped to transform the group and create a platform for continued growth on an international scale.”

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Deal provides ‘additional firepower’ for IT business

After LDC backed the management buyout of Node4 in May 2013, the IT solution provider’s revenue increased from £13million to £28million in March 2016, while its staff numbers tripled to support the growth.

During the partnership, Node4 extended its buy-and-build strategy, acquiring LETN Solutions, Reconnix and Premier IT Networks. As a result, the business was able to capitalise upon the growing trend for customers to outsource IT services and favour integrated providers like Node4.

In October 2016, LDC exited its investment in a secondary buyout to Bowmark Capital. As part of this deal Node4 raised £40million to fund its continued acquisition strategy and to strengthen its capabilities in an increasingly digitised market. Our confidence in Node4’s continued growth strategy meant LDC reinvested earlier this year to continue to support the management team.

Andrew Gilbert, Node4 Chief Executive, said: “The financial backing and strategic guidance we received from LDC over the course of our three and a half year partnership has been fundamental to our continued success and growth.”

View Node 4 in our portfolio

New summer facilities for Away Resorts

Since partnering with LDC, UK holiday park operator Away Resorts has completed the acquisition of two sites - Sandy Balls Holiday Village and Mersea Island Holiday Park. The expansion brought additional high quality sites to further complement Away Resorts’ existing portfolio and increase its share of the UK holiday market.

Against this backdrop, Away Resorts has significantly invested in its existing parks and introduced new facilities to capitalise on the booming ‘staycation’ market this summer, contributing to its double digit growth so far this year. A new Tribeca Village, providing ‘boutique-style’ caravan accommodation, has been installed at Tattershall Lakes Country Park and more Tribeca’s located at four other Away Resorts sites.

The business now has an annual turnover of £41million, up more than 20 per cent since LDC first backed the business in April 2015, and employs 650 people across its portfolio of sites.

Carl Castledine, Chief Executive Officer at Away Resorts, said: "Thanks to our partnership with LDC, we have been able to steadily build our portfolio of parks over the past few years, as well as improving, renovating and re-energising existing parks, where needed. We’ve also been able to gear up for the summer months and refresh our sites with new facilities to continue driving footfall.”

View Away Resorts in our portfolio

Panther continues to expand infrastructure since last year’s deal

Panther Logistics, the UK’s largest independent two-man next day home delivery provider, is now 17 months into its partnership with LDC and has seen impressive growth in trading performance, new delivery service capabilities and infrastructure.

LDC backed the £17million management buyout of one of the UK’s fastest growing firms and has since helped the firm grow from circa £27million at the end of 2015, to a run-rate of in excess of £50million.

Panther expects to complete a total of 1.5million deliveries in 2017 – up nearly 600,000 from 2016 figures, with its core two-man delivery service having effectively doubled in two years. The business has also introduced a new solo delivery service, which handled over 300,000 deliveries in its first year, while expanding its fleet by a further 120 vehicles has helped to meet spiraling demand.

The delivery business has increased its regional footprint, bringing an additional four depots to the network since partnering with LDC, with more in the pipeline. Its most recent opening in Gateshead will focus on service to its Scotland and Northern customer base – whilst its new Bracknell depot will focus on the South of the UK.

Colin McCarthy, Managing Director of Panther Logistics, said: “We’re in a stronger position than ever before and have been enjoying a prolonged period of growth. The strategic support and capital injection from LDC has allowed us to cement ourselves as a market leader and stand us in good stead to take on the expected growth in demand.

“We’ve welcomed more staff onboard, increasing our workforce by approximately 150 in the last year, to meet the growing demand, while also maintaining our quality of service which is a key differentiator for businesses in the sector.”

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NEC Group continues expansion and investment

The growth of the NEC Group, the Birmingham-based operator of five of the UK’s leading live events venues, is continuing at a rapid pace.

The group – which also owns caterer Amadeus and national ticketing agency The Ticket Factory – has seen customer spend grow by 30 per cent since partnering with LDC in May 2015.

The opening of Resorts World Birmingham in 2015 was a significant moment in the NEC Group’s evolution and kick-started a period of exciting development. Since then, the business has entered a new deal with entertainment giant Merlin, which will see a LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre open at the Arena Birmingham in 2018 and another Merlin attraction at the NEC. Both attractions will significantly increase footfall to the NEC Group’s two Birmingham venue locations.

Paul Thandi, CEO at the NEC Group, said: “LDC’s investment allowed us to realise our business plan and move quickly to invest in our staff, products and services.

“LDC is an active investor that is always interested in ways we can develop the business and customer offer, no matter how big or small. We’ve got a renewed energy which in itself has led to significant earnings growth.”

View NEC in our portfolio