LDC, the leading UK mid-market private equity firm, has backed multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy Patrick Parsons with a multi-million-pound development capital investment to support the firm’s UK expansion strategy together with the acquisition of infrastructure engineering specialist THDA.
Headquartered in Newcastle, Patrick Parsons has more than 250 specialist engineers and provides design services across civil, structural, geo-environmental and M&E disciplines to blue-chip clients in the residential, commercial and infrastructure sectors.
Some of the firm’s most notable projects include consulting on restoration works at Durham Cathedral and developing the world’s first modular flat packed white water course in Glasgow.
Under the leadership of Managing Director Peter Stienlet and Board Directors Mark Turner, Grant Richardson, Doug Tidswell, Conor Murphy and Nick Beckwith, Patrick Parsons has enjoyed significant growth over the past 10 years, both organically and through a targeted acquisition strategy.
Since leading a management buyout in November 2007, the business has increased turnover from £1m in 2007 to £18m today; expanding the firm’s geographic footprint from one site in Newcastle to eight sites across the UK.
LDC is backing the management team to continue its growth strategy and the investment will support the immediate acquisition of THDA. Birmingham-based THDA specialises in the design of civil engineering infrastructure for development schemes such as major highways, roads, earthworks modelling and flood risk assessments, and will further strengthen Patrick Parsons’ national capabilities in this market.
It follows a buy and build strategy that has seen the business complete six complementary acquisitions over the past five years, most recently London-based JSA in 2015, Guildford-based Stilwell in 2016 and Manchester-based BCM this year.
Peter Stienlet, Managing Director at Patrick Parsons, said: “We have grown significantly and this is undoubtedly down to the hard work and commitment of our people. We pride ourselves on having created a collaborative business culture that has a strong focus on the values of a family business and this has enabled us to continue to attract and retain the best talent, and continue to grow and expand.
“It was vital that we found an investment partner that understood both our vision for growth and the importance we place on this culture. In LDC we have a highly-experienced partner that is backing us to continue our growth journey, and helping us to invest in the future of our business. The acquisition of THDA is the next step on this journey and puts a marker in the sand for our commitment to the infrastructure sector. The move will allow us to enhance our presence in Birmingham and sees the firm establish itself as a fully multi-disciplinary practice.”
The deal was led by Ben Snow, Investment Director, and Zara Lane, Investment Origination, at LDC in Newcastle. Robert Horvath will join the board of the business as Non-Executive Chairman. An engineer by trade, Robert has more than 25 years’ experience of supporting the growth of businesses across the construction and engineering sectors.
Ben Snow, Investment Director at LDC, said: “Patrick Parsons has an exceptionally strong management team that has successfully spearheaded the growth of the business, while retaining the values of a smaller sized firm. The acquisition of THDA is an exciting development for both businesses. It allows Patrick Parsons to further strengthen its service line and create more opportunities for both its employees and customers in a market that shows strong growth prospects as infrastructure investment continues to rise.”
John Garner, Head of LDC in Yorkshire and the North East, added: “We’re committed to backing ambitious management teams in the North East and this latest deal signals our intent to continue investing in the region. We’ve expanded our team on the ground and with a healthy pipeline of activity there’s no doubt the region will play an important role in our commitment to invest £1.2bn nationally over the next three years.”
LDC has been operating in the region since 1989 and since then it has delivered some of the firm’s most exciting deals. This includes backing the management buyout of Skipton-based PAW, the UK market leader in the design, manufacture and installation of pre-engineered light gauge building systems, and Wakefield-based Team17, the the market-leading games developer and publisher best known for the popular Worms franchise.
LDC was advised by BDO, Muckle and KPMG. Commercial due diligence was provided by CIL.
Patrick Parsons was advised by Cavu Corporate Finance and Mincoffs Solicitors.