LDC’s approach is to partner with management teams, provide capital and guidance, empowering them to drive their growth strategy forward.
Here, we review how that has translated into outstanding results for three of our portfolio businesses in Yorkshire and the North East.
We first invested £16.5million in video games label Team17 in 2016 to help fuel its expansion and in 2018 partially exited our investment following the company’s successful listing on AIM.
Led by CEO and Founder Debbie Bestwick MBE, Team17 has grown significantly over the past two years. Revenues and EBITDA have more than doubled, underpinned by investment in product development, new launches and continued overseas expansion.
The £217million listing on London’s AIM market raised proceeds of £107.5million and Team17 will now accelerate its international growth strategy, developing its own IP to capitalise on its position as a leading video games label for indie developers.
Debbie Bestwick MBE, CEO of Team17, said: “One of the key reasons why we opted to do business with LDC is the fact the team understood the importance of our business model, and our philosophy of nurturing new talent and supporting partners.”
Cycling parts and accessories distributor ZyroFisher was formed in 2016, when LDC backed the management buyout of Zyro and its simultaneous acquisition of Fisher Outdoor Leisure.
The combined group attracted new brands, developed its own clothing line, expanded its distribution capabilities and strengthened its senior team; building a business with annual sales topping £75million.
We sold ZyroFisher to Palatine Private Equity in a deal that provided significant additional equity funding, and we reinvested alongside Palatine to continue to support the firm’s expansion strategy. Last year ZyroFisher acquired Royal Velo France, its first international acquisition, in a transformational deal to accelerate its expansion in Europe.
Matthew Barker, CEO of ZyroFisher, said: “LDC’s financial, strategic and operational support over the past 18 months has been invaluable in the successful integration of Zyro and Fisher, allowing us to capitalise on the combined strengths of the businesses and invest for long-term growth.”
Since we backed a management buyout at Seabrook in 2015, the business consistently outperformed the overall UK crisp market thanks to its focus on diversification and innovation.
Seabrook also began exporting for the first time, securing distribution in China, Australia, the UAE, France and Spain.
In 2018, we completed a sale to leading snack brand Calbee UK, in a deal that sees Seabrook continue to operate as a standalone company, led by the existing management team.
Today it produces more than 250 million bags of crisps a year, with revenues having grown nine per cent and EBITDA 28 per cent during LDC’s tenure.
Jonathan Bye, Chief Executive of Seabrook, said: “On behalf of the management team and everyone at Seabrook, I’d like to thank LDC for its commitment and support. Since LDC invested in our business in July 2015, the team has gone above and beyond, partnering with us to invest in our facilities and prime the business for future growth.”