LDC sells ATCORE Group generating a 3x return

Mid-market private equity firm LDC has completed the sale of ATCORE Group (‘ATCORE’), a leading technology provider to the global travel industry, to Inflexion Private Equity. 

ATCORE, which is headquartered in Slough, provides reservation and e-commerce solutions for travel companies and specialist tour operators. Through its Atcom platform, the business designs, builds and maintains inventory, pricing, booking and distribution software for some of the biggest names in the travel industry. Its Tigerbay platform serves specialist travel operators. ATCORE customers include Thomas Cook, TUI, Centre Pars, Mark Warner, Newmarket and Voyages Jules Verne. 

In May 2014, LDC backed the business in the £45million management buyout of Anite Travel from its listed parent Anite PLC, rebranding as ATCORE. 

During the partnership, LDC has supported the business in new product launches, Atcom Search platform and Atcom Retail Browser, as well as the acquisition of Tigerbay, to further diversify the business’ offering and enter new markets. New strategic hires were made to the management team, with Dave Cruickshank joining the business and being appointed as CEO in 2016. Mike Kingswood, previous CEO, moved into a non-executive position. 

Three years on, ATCORE recorded revenues of £26million, and has grown EBITDA to £8.2million. 

The sale generates a money multiple return of over 3x for LDC. The transaction was led by investment director David Bains and Andy Lyndon, Head of LDC in the Midlands. 

Dave Cruickshank, ATCORE CEO, added: “It was important for us to firmly establish our own identity after we become an independent entity, and we have worked closely with LDC to expand into new markets and invest in our suite of products. The funding and guidance from LDC has been instrumental in seeing through what has been an incredible period of transformation and growth for the company. 

“As we enter the next stage of our journey, we look forward to working with the team at Inflexion who will support us as we maximise new growth opportunities in the international market.” 

Andy Lyndon, Head of LDC in the Midlands, said: “The last three years have seen ATCORE achieve strong organic growth that has been boosted by a number of milestone achievements. The acquisition of Tigerbay enabled the business to diversify and develop new products, and new senior hires provided added firepower to accelerate growth. 

“These strategic developments have seen ATCORE emerge as a leading platform provider in the industry, and the business is now well positioned to continue its growth journey in the expanding travel and tourism market.” 

LDC was advised by Deloitte Corporate Finance and Gowling, with vendor due diligence completed by PwC and BDO.

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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.