LDC has announced plans to increase its investment in “growth businesses” based in the capital and wider region over the next three years.
The firm, whose portfolio includes Bluebird and Quaglino owner D&D London and macro-economic forecaster Capital Economics, has pledged to invest £450m of equity into mid-sized businesses (MSBs), which it believes are key to the region’s long-term economic prosperity.
The plans form part of a UK-wide commitment to invest £1.2bn in so-called MSBs over the next three years.
Last year, LDC’s London team invested in companies including online travel agent Iglu and alternative assets information provider PEI Media Group.
It was also responsible for generating exit proceeds of more than £250m in 2015, with divestments including the IPO of premium drinks brand Fever Tree, the £160m sale of price comparison site uSwitch to Zoopla Property Group and the £55m sale of leading independent production company Twofour Group to ITV plc. It also sold stakes in consultancy firm Blue Rubicon to US based Teneo, live music business MAMA & Company to NYSE-listed Live Nation and global managed service provider Easynet, which was acquired by Interroute.
Today, its 13-strong portfolio of companies generates sales of more than £670m and employs over 3,600 people.
The firm’s London office head said it was vital that the capital’s mid-sized firms have access to capital as well as strategic guidance and operational support to accelerate their growth and reach their potential.
Chris Hurley, joint chief executive of LDC, said: “London and the South East is a powerhouse of the UK economy, but the contribution of its thousands of mid-sized businesses is often over-looked. They are a critical part of the government’s push towards sustainable, balanced and long-term economic growth.
“There are businesses in all sectors with the potential to become truly world-class brands in their chosen markets with the right support, just like Fever Tree and D&D London.
He added: “Private equity has proven its ability to transform businesses and accelerate growth, creating jobs and wealth for regional economies. London and the South East is fortunate to have a large pool of quality mid-sized businesses with ambitious management teams, together with a professional community with the scale and sophistication to support their expansion.
“Our track record of investing and building value across almost every sector means we’re ideally placed to facilitate that growth in London and the South East, as well as across the UK through our regionally based teams.”