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LDC completes bolt-on acquisition for transport specialist group

LDC has completed the acquisition of Computer Recognition Systems on behalf of its portfolio firm Vysionics, a group of businesses supplying traffic management systems.

Vysionics was formed by LDC in February 2010 to acquire Speed Check Services, a supplier of average speed camera systems. 

In addition to providing GBP9m of development capital to accelerate the expansion strategy of Speed Check Services, the private equity house has now funded Vysionics’ acquisition of Computer Recognition Systems, a company which provides traffic surveillance systems including automatic number plate recognition software and hardware.

Its technology is used around the world by civil and criminal enforcement organisations to detect, classify and identify vehicles from camera-based images in all weather conditions and at night by using infrared technology.

The deal with Vysionics provides a full exit for Computer Recognition Systems founder Bill Adaway who will continue to provide technical support on a consultancy basis.

Earlier this year, LDC’s team in the South committed GBP100mover the next three years to back businesses requiring GBP10m of equity funding or less in the South West and South Wales, the Thames Valley and the Home Counties.

Ian Podmore, investment director at LDC, says: “This deal brings many strategic and operational benefits and is a significant step in the strategy to build a broader group with an enhanced technology and service offering. 

“In addition to boosting the research and development capability, the acquisition of CRS provides a foothold in new growth areas of the market and boosts Vysionics’ ability to tender for larger contracts.

“It’s a perfect example of how LDC is deploying its capital and expertise to support SMEs which, with the right investment strategy, have the potential to grow rapidly into market leaders on a domestic and international stage.”

Paul Davey, chief executive of Vysionics, adds: “We’ve partnered with Computer Recognition Systems on a commercial and technical basis for many years, so this deal is a natural fit and provides the technical means and capacity to move the business to the next level of development.

“Since LDC’s investment, we’ve successfully increased the pace of organic growth and will now begin to maximise the value of this acquisition and drive value from the enlarged group.

“LDC’s backing has given us the strategic input, operational know-how and financial means needed to achieve our ambitious growth plans.”

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