Mid-market private equity investor LDC has backed the management buyout of global events company FC Business Intelligence (FCBI). The value of the transaction is undisclosed.
FCBI delivers conference and exhibition events with a focus on providing thought leadership in a diverse range of sectors that are facing both challenges and opportunities from technological and strategic innovation including the energy, insurance, pharmaceuticals transportation and travel sectors. Its offering is designed to help senior business professionals stay at the forefront of change through insight sharing and networking with peers.
The investment will enable FCBI to target further organic growth as it plans to increase the scale of its events and expand into new markets, including Asia. The business will also look to make a number of acquisitions both at home and overseas.
With 130 employees based at its head office in Shoreditch, FCBI operates globally with 65 per cent of the company’s annual turnover of £30m generated in the US, 20 per cent in continental Europe and 10 per cent in the UK.
LDC is backing FCBI’s existing management team, led by Chief Executive Officer Piers Latimer. The investment marks an exit for its original founders.
The deal was led by investment director David Andrews and investment manager Alex Wilby. David Andrews and Rob Schofield will join the board of the business with Tim Trotter joining as Non-Executive Chairman, bringing significant experience of growing PE-backed people businesses internationally. David Gilbertson, former CEO of EMAP and Informa, also joins as a Non-Executive Director, bringing a wealth of industry experience.
Piers Latimer, Chief Executive Officer of FCBI, said: “We have established a worldwide reputation for developing high-quality strategic events that deliver the insights business leaders need to direct their companies and shape their markets. With demand for our services only set to increase, we’re in a great position to accelerate growth. Bringing on board an experienced and well-connected investment partner in LDC felt right at this juncture and we’re excited to be moving forward with their support”.
David Andrews, investment director at LDC in London, added: “Piers and his management team have overseen a remarkable period of growth for FCBI thanks to their focus on content-rich, delegate-led events that deliver real value to more than 9,000 attendees and 1,400 sponsors and exhibitors each year. The opportunity now is for the management team to strengthen and extend this growth and we’re looking forward to supporting them on this journey.”
Banking facilities were provided by Muzinich & Co. Limited and HSBC.
LDC was advised by Houlihan Lokey, Plural Strategy Group, Eversheds Sutherland and BDO.
FCBI was advised by JEGI | CLARITY and CMS.