LDC has supported international trust and corporate services provider Equiom in its acquisition of Links Group, the leading provider of commercial facilitation and advisory services in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
Links Group was the first company of its kind to introduce the corporate partner structure for local partner services, endorsed by the Government of Dubai through a strategic alliance with the Foreign Investment Office of the Dubai Economic Department. The partnership will expand the geographic reach of both companies and broaden their respective service offerings.
The acquisition will create a business with combined revenues of more than £50million, which has increased by almost 400% since LDC’s original investment in 2013.
This forms part of Equiom’s on-going acquisitive growth strategy, which has seen LDC invest over £22million in eight strategic acquisitions during its tenure, including Vivat and Equation earlier this year, and Lloyds Trust Company and Ardel Trust Company in 2015. The business also completed the successful takeover of fiduciary services provider West Corporation Limited in 2013, along with the acquisition of AFP Corporate Services and the purchase of a book of business from Moore Stephens Trust Company in December 2014.
LDC has provided additional funding to support the transaction, which was also supported by Equiom’s committed acquisition finance facility.
Yann Souillard, LDC Managing Director for the South, said: “Since we initially backed the management buyout of Equiom in 2013, our buy and build strategy has seen the business extend its global footprint and grow its specialisms substantially to offer its clients a wider breadth of services spanning multiple locations.
“Links Group’s offering is a perfect fit for Equiom, giving the business an established presence in the UAE and State of Qatar. We now look forward to continuing to work with Sheila and the management team to increase the business’ market share through both organic and acquisitive channels, in order to solidify its presence as a global market leader in trust and corporate services.”
Sheila Dean, Equiom’s Global CEO, commented: “Our partnership with Links Group takes Equiom into a new jurisdiction and will increase our staff numbers to more than 420, while significantly expanding our service offering. Importantly, the ethos and values we hold in doing business are very much aligned – thoroughly understanding and building trusted, long-term partnerships with our clients is of utmost importance. We look forward to a long and prosperous partnership with Links Group as we support the team on its successful growth path.”
Equiom was originally incorporated over 30 years ago, becoming the fiduciary business of Ernst & Young in 1990, before being acquired by Anglo Irish Bank in 2002. In 2006, the company was subject to a management buy-out, led by existing Global CEO Sheila Dean.