LDC continues to back specialist cloud services marketplace Giacom

Mid-market private equity firm LDC has completed the sale of Giacom, the fast-growing specialist cloud services marketplace, to Livingbridge.

As part of the deal, LDC has reinvested for a minority stake as it continues to support Giacom’s ongoing growth strategy.

Headquartered in Hull, Giacom supports a network of more than 4,000 IT consultants, service providers and resellers through the Giacom Cloud MarketTM platform. It is Europe’s largest channel-based cloud marketplace and the network uses its cloud platform to supply more than 40,000 SMEs with products such as email, file management and backup solutions, anti-virus software, secure file transfer and email encryption.

LDC backed the management buyout of Giacom in May 2016 to help the business consolidate its market-leading position and capitalise on the increasing demand for cloud-based solutions among the micro-SME market.

Since then, Giacom has grown its headcount from 34 employees to 47 and increased turnover from £6.6m to £13.9m in the FY ending July 2017. As a result, the business has been independently recognised for exceptional growth and listed on the Sunday Times Tech Track 100.

LDC has helped founder Nick Marshall strengthen his management team with three senior director appointments, including CEO Mike Wardell. The business has also invested in its proprietary technology platform to launch the Giacom Cloud MarketTM, which enables IT consultants to sell and license cloud services more easily, and expand its portfolio with complementary products such as cybersecurity software BitDefender and hosted voice technology provider TalkTalk Business.

The sale was led by investment director Simon Braham and head of LDC in the North West Jonathan Bell, with LDC’s reinvestment led by investment director Philip Weston and head of LDC in London and the South Yann Souillard.

Nick Marshall, founder of Giacom, said: “Our partnership with LDC has been pivotal in our growth journey. With the team’s strategic support and financial backing, we have not only been able to take advantage of increased market demand for cloud services, but continually invest in our offering and recruit the best talent. I’d like to thank LDC for their continued support, and with Mike and the senior team on board we’re now in an even stronger position to embark on the next phase of our growth strategy.”

Simon Braham, investment director at LDC in Manchester, added: “Thanks to the determination of Nick, Mike and the team, the strength of Giacom’s offering and the market demand for cloud-based solutions, the business has fully delivered on its strategic objectives and growth plans to date. This has created an exciting opportunity to pursue the next stage of Giacom’s ambitious growth strategy and, during what is a transformational time for the cloud-based IT market for SMEs, bringing a second growth investor on board with a similarly strong technology focus can only help drive the momentum.”

Mike Wardell, CEO of Giacom, said: “We have built solid foundations for growth by continually investing in our proprietary cloud marketplace, enhancing customer experience and bringing on board additional cloud services and products to complement our offering. There is now an even greater opportunity for us to deliver services in a simple and straightforward way, and with the combined support of Livingbridge and LDC we’re in strong position to do just that.”

Philip Weston, investment director at LDC, added: “Giacom has quickly established itself as a market leader within the micro-SME market and with a management team that has an unparalleled knowledge of its sector, strong technical capabilities and a focus on delivering exceptional customer service, the business is primed to continue to grow at pace. We’re delighted to be continuing our support for the business.”

The deal marks the sixth transaction this year for LDC’s North West team. It follows the £85m sale of Mini-Cam to Halma plc, the £16m management buyout of Eque2 and the management buyout of Hill Biscuits. 

LDC was advised by KPMG (Christian Mayo, Graham Pearce, Nisha Sharma, Patrick Simpson and James Gaffney) and Gateley (Paul Jefferson and Katie Porter).

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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.