For over 15 years, LDC has been backing forward-thinking North West businesses and our commitment to delivering value has generated more than £285m of exit proceeds between 2014 and 2016.
We’ve helped to build some of the country’s fastest growing companies across diverse sectors, ranging from healthcare to manufacturing and technology.
Here, we look at some of the ways our North West team has helped to support and drive the long-term growth of three portfolio companies.
LDC backed the £20m secondary buyout of contract caterers Waterfall, which trades under the brands Caterplus and Taylor Shaw, in 2014.
LDC supported the management’s organic growth strategy, which focused on strengthening margins, improving the customer proposition and service delivery in its core care and education markets.
This drove revenue growth from £50m to more than £70m over two years, while also creating more than 500 new jobs.
In 2016, Waterfall was acquired by one of the world’s largest contracted food operators, Elior Group, leaving it strongly positioned to begin its next phase of growth and generating a money multiple of 2.6x.
Jim Lovett, CEO of Waterfall Catering Group, said: “LDC backed our vision and ambition as a management team to create an even stronger business and has provided unwavering support for our growth plans ever since.”
In June 2016, after three years of growth, LDC exited its investment in New World Trading Company (NWTC), generating a 6.1x return in a £50m sale to Graphite.
LDC originally invested £2.7m in the upmarket pub and restaurant business back in 2013.
Between 2013 and 2016, the group expanded quickly from 2 to 14 outlets nationally under five brands, including The Botanist, The Oast House, Smugglers Cove, The Trading House and The Club House.
By 2016, group turnover had almost doubled year-on-year to £17.1m, while pre-tax profits grew by 22 per cent. The group now employs more than 900 people.
The sale also saw the management team reinvest for a significant stake in the business.
Chris Hill, Chief Executive of NWTC, said: “LDC has been an important part of our growth story over the last three years, supporting our expansion from two to 14 outlets, and backing our vision for the business.”
In 2015, LDC supported the £83m secondary buyout of Synexus, one of the world’s largest recruiters of patients for pharmaceutical trials.
Synexus owns and operates 25 clinical research centres in eight countries, delivering economies of scale for clients and boosting speed-to-market for new drugs. Our investment backed the management’s organic growth strategy, combined with acquisitions designed to grow Synexus’ footprint.
It bought US firm Research Across America, as well as opening new research centres in Bulgaria, Poland and Romania, strengthening its market-leading position in Europe. In 2016, the group was acquired by Jaguar Holding Company Luxembourg in a deal that valued the business at £178m, generating a money multiple of 2.3x.
Christophe Berthoux, CEO of Synexus, said: “The financial backing of LDC has enabled us to drive growth across the US and Europe, putting the business in an extremely strong position as one of the only global SMOs, and the team has also provided invaluable strategic support.”
North West View