LDC will take a significant stake in the business, investing alongside the incumbent management team led by Chief Executive Mark Goddard.
Established in 2007, GMG Property Services is the UK’s largest supplier of software, technology and design solutions to the property industry. Its circa 6,700 strong branches comprises some of the UK’s leading residential sales agents, residential letting agents and managers of letting properties.
Property Software Group owns and licences four key software brands: CFP Software, which specialises in supplying lettings, property management, accounting and estate agency software; Vebra Solutions, the UK's number one provider of software solutions for property professionals; Core Systems, the leading provider of innovative software for residential estate agents; and Alto the newly launched, market leading SaaS estate agency software offering.
The business employs over 170 people across its network of UK operations in York, Redruth, Luton and Wolverhampton. It has an annual turnover of more than £10million.
The deal provides the opportunity to accelerate the recent organic revenue growth of the business, primarily through the ongoing roll-out of Alto Residential software package, which is already acknowledged as the leading cloud-based IT services product for estate agents.
LDC’s investment will also help to support the management team’s buy and build strategy, targeting complementary businesses to increase market penetration and expand Property Software Group’s existing customer base in what is a fragmented market. The deal also enables the Guardian Media Group to fully exit the business.
As part of LDC’s investment strategy, the existing management team will be further supported by the appointment of Alastair Hazell as Non-Executive Chairman. Mr Hazell has worked with numerous private equity backed companies and his significant experience in data and software businesses will help to drive the growth strategy.
The deal was transacted by LDC’s Reading team, led by Managing Director Yann Souillard and Director Alastair Weinel, who will both join the board with immediate effect.
Mark Goddard, Chief Executive of GMG Property Services said: “LDC’s investment reflects their confidence in our future potential. We anticipate that LDC’s support will allow us to further strengthen our market leading position, invest for future growth both organically and through acquisitions, as well as continuing the provision of high quality service for all our customers, existing and new.”
Yann Souillard, Managing Director, LDC Reading said: “In Property Software Group, we are partnering with a high-quality management team and a market-leading business which has a strong platform from which to generate further growth through Alto. The business provides a premium service to its customer base of residential agents and property managers, and is supported by a well invested infrastructure. Going forward, we will work closely with the team to identify acquisition opportunities to accelerate growth and lead consolidation of the market.”
Andrew Miller, CEO, Guardian Media Group, said: "Since forming the Property Services Group in 2007, GMG has successfully incorporated a series of assets from across the property industry and grown them into one market-leading group. It is now right that LDC, Mark Goddard and the current Property Services Group management team take this consolidated entity into the future and that GMG continues to focus on investing in the core part of our business, Guardian News and Media".
LDC completed the transaction with support from a number of regionally based advisors, including Shoosmiths, HMT and SBCF. London-based Dean Street also advised LDC on the transaction with Silicon Valley Bank providing acquisition debt facilities. Capstan Capital Partners advised Guardian Media Group on the transaction, with Boyes Turner providing legal advice.