If 2018 was a year of uncertainty for UK business, the year ahead is equally if not more so.
Brexit-specific issues – like access to the single market, regulatory alignment and movement of labour – and Brexit-related concerns – including currency volatility, slowing economic growth and an increasing administrative burden – are understandably weighing heavy on the minds of business leaders.
The only certainty, it often seems, is uncertainty. But, this is the new normal for business.
Over the past four decades of investing, we’ve seen first-hand the impact of major financial, political and social events on business appetite and investment activity.
Whilst many investors understandably choose to ‘wait and see’, preferring to keep their powder dry, we’ve always taken a counter-cyclical approach.
Why? Because we’ve seen businesses thrive and go for growth at every point of the cycle – whether through buy and build, diversification of offering, internationalisation or innovation.
This underlines two enduring truths about UK business and the role of private equity within it.
Firstly, in business, ambition can transcend circumstance. Growth is a mindset and one that unites almost every ambitious management team we back – that unrelenting drive to succeed regardless of market conditions. Yes, it’s about having a defensible business and realistic forecasts, but it’s also about confidence and belief.
Secondly, private equity is for all – it works for almost every business, in almost every sector. All it requires is an ambitious management team, a sound business and a clear vision.
Whatever the need – transitioning ownership, funding acquisitions, providing growth capital to scale or diversify, or all of the above – it remains one of the most accessible and yet powerful catalysts And, far from it being about taking control and enforcing discipline, it’s about realising opportunity and creating flexibility.
From an investor perspective, this is where track record and experience come to bear. Some of our best investments were made during times of economic downturn, as it’s often when additional capital, board-level expertise, operational support and networks can be leveraged to best effect.
Whilst activity will inevitably slow in parts, there will always be business owners who either spot opportunity amidst the turmoil or have the bravery and boldness to progress their expansion plans regardless. At LDC we’re ready to support them with funding, experience and flexibility.
We call it Backing Ambition.
- £1.2bn to invest over the next three years
- 600 businesses supported since 1981
- 32 management teams backed during 2008-2009