LDC supported the management buyout of Clifford Thames in 2014. Two years on, we speak to CEO Calvin Barnett, to understand what it’s like to work with LDC and hear his view on the impact private equity investment has had on the business.
Why did you choose LDC as a partner?
“It was important for us to find a partner that understood the business, but also understood its dynamics. LDC very quickly came across as professional, but also adaptable and flexible - their approach was very honest and upfront. Straight away our management team felt very comfortable that this was a team we could do business with.”
How has your relationship with LDC developed?
“Our relationship with LDC has developed from the initial investment process, but the most encouraging thing is that the chemistry that we had prior to the deal has continued. We’re still working with the same team that we were initially introduced to, which provides a great amount of continuity for us.”
What added value has LDC bought to the business?
“LDC has shown a genuine desire to work with our management team to grow and develop our business. I’d describe their approach as ‘a light hand on the tiller’, steering us through some of the challenges we have faced as we have grown and matured into a bigger company.
“LDC’s support and capital has helped us continue to develop our software service capabilities to existing and new clients as well as supporting our international merger and acquisition priorities, most recently with our acquisition of German-headquartered AC AutoConsult Gmbh.
“Through LDC’s Value Enhancement Group we have made some valuable connections - having the ability to network with people that LDC and its partners work with is priceless.”
What tips would you offer to management teams looking for investment
“Get on and do it. If it’s right for you, if you’re ambitious, and if you want to grow the company it’s definitely something you should do and it’s never too early to start. I think for me, it was very important to get to know people as early as possible, share with them everything about the business so that together you can make an informed decision.”