LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, provided GBP180 million of investment to back eight new management teams and to support its portfolio companies in the first half of 2021.
The firm said its eight new investments demonstrated an ‘increasing appetite and ambition for growth’ amongst the management teams of UK mid-market businesses. Spanning a broad range of sectors and regions, investments included Bristol-based digital media group Hybrid, Southampton-based equestrian brand LeMieux and Rochdale-based Wireless CCTV, a market-leading supplier of surveillance solutions.
In the first half of 2021, LDC supported its portfolio companies in making a total of 36 acquisitions, including Midlands manufacturer Stuart Turner’s acquisition of Mikrofill, B2B telecoms provider Onecom’s acquisitions of 9 Group and Olive Communications, and sales and letting agency Lomond Group’s multiple acquisitions across the UK.
Since the start of the pandemic, the private equity firm has provided more than GBP100 million in follow-on funding to strengthen its 90-strong portfolio of mid-market UK businesses.
The businesses exited so far this year, on average more than doubled revenues and grew their employee numbers by nearly 90 per cent during their partnership with LDC. Exits included Kee Safety which during its 10-year partnership with LDC grew sales to over GBP100 million and employee numbers to 780 across 10 countries.
Toby Rougier, Chief Executive of LDC, says: “Since the onset of the pandemic, our teams have been focused heavily on the needs of our 90-strong portfolio, providing essential capital and expertise to support and position them for a post-Covid landscape. This included funding for a record number of acquisitions to expand scale and services. Now, as demand returns and the UK’s economy recovers, our portfolio is stabilised, strengthened and set for growth.”
John Garner, Head of New Business at LDC, adds: “We’ve also seen demand for investment continue in the first six months of this year, having completed eight new investments across the UK – a reassuring signal of business owners’ appetite and ambition for growth.
“Once again, the performance of those companies we’ve exited so far this year is testament to the potential of private equity to add value when it’s done right, with our partnerships helping to build stronger, more resilient businesses.”
LDC, which has backed over 650 management teams during its 40-year history, said it remained committed to investing GBP1.2 billion of equity over the next three years.
The firm has recruited four new investment professionals so far this year, with a further seven set to join over the coming six months as it ramps up its activity.
Last year, LDC invested GBP240 million in 14 new companies despite a market-wide slow-down in UK private equity investment due to the coronavirus outbreak and resulting economic uncertainty.
The firm also said its partnership with The Prince’s Trust – which aims to help young people across the UK to explore and launch their own business – had continued to play an important role in stimulating enterprise in all parts of society. In the first two years of the Backing Youth Ambition partnership, LDC has supported more than 1,300 young people through a combination of donations, fundraising, volunteering and mentoring.