The heritage of manufacturing in the region and increasing diversity of the Midlands business landscape makes it an attractive prospect for investors, even during times of uncertainty. An impressive mix of ambitious smaller firms and well-established mid-sized businesses continue to implement the latest technology, recruit highly skilled talent, introduce new services, and increase export in order to compete and grow.
Private equity's role in helping companies grow is often misunderstood. The right private equity partnership can empower management to realise their ambitions rather than take control. With the right strategic investment partner on board, a founder can step back and allow the existing management team to step up, helping the team consolidate a market or build scale quickly through acquisition or business investment.
Or, in leading manufacturer, Eley's case, LDC's support allowed an ambitious and hugely experienced management team to acquire the business from its plc parent company and drive it forward to execute their own strategy. When Eley was considering its options, the team wanted an investment partner that understood the challenges and opportunities in the manufacturing sector and how the business could expand and ultimately further its impressive international growth.
LDC has completed more than 500 investments over our 35 year history, partnering with management teams, like Eley's, that have a proven track record and a determined attitude to succeed can thereby create value for all shareholders. From our experience, private equity works best when the partnership between investor and management is built on trust, a common vision and strong alignment of interests from day one. We worked closely with Eley to enable a seamless transition from a plc ownership structure to one where CEO Andrew Lane and his senior team were able to immediately execute their own strategy for the development of the business, supported by a leading industrialist as Non-Executive Chairman.
Nearly two years on from our investment, the business has continued to evolve and diversify, and we'll be watching a group of the company's most important end users, world class athletes, shoot for success at this summer's Olympic Games.