We’re ready to support ambitious firms to grow, LDC South West team says as opportunities return

August 2, 2021

The South West team of LDC, the leading mid-market private equity firm, is predicting significant growth and investment opportunities for small and mid-sized businesses over the coming year as the regional economy recovers from the pandemic.

The team completed three deals in the first half of this year with a combined enterprise value of more than £280m, including backing managers at Bristol-based digital media company Hybrid to support its acquisitive growth strategy. 

It has also supported its portfolio companies across the South West to expand in what have been difficult times for all businesses.

Now LDC regional head Dewi Hughes, pictured, believes the unique strength of the local business community will create new opportunities.

“Over the past six months we’ve seen the confidence businesses across the South West and Wales increase as we emerge from the pandemic,” he said.

“While the entire business community has faced challenges, I’m incredibly impressed by how quickly management teams across the region have adapted and are now pushing for growth again, and we’re ready to support them.

He said the Bristol-based team, which also covers South Wales, was always on the lookout for ambitious business leaders who wanted to go one step further and were looking for additional help to realise their growth plans.

“Whether it’s acquiring a competitor, expanding overseas or developing new products and services, with our nationwide commitment to invest £1.2bn over the next three years, we have the capital and expertise to help management teams in the South West and Wales bring their ambitions to life,” he added. 

As well as LDC’s £13m investment in XCD, which helps higher education institutions around the world create differentiated brands and campaigns, it also led an investment in Sohonet, an international provider of connectivity and software for the media and entertainment industry, and exited its investment in fast-growing Stonehouse, Gloucestershire-headquartered water treatment specialist ADEY.

In the past six months, LDC has also supported its portfolio companies to expand including WCCTV, a Queen’s Award-winning mobile surveillance business which opened a new office in Newport, and Zip World, which launched its fourth adventure destination Zip World Tower in South Wales.

The team also supported Away Resorts’ acquisition of Cornish resort St Ives Bay Holiday Park.

These transactions coincided with LDC working closely with portfolio company management teams to provide the necessary support to help strengthen and position their businesses for growth.

Since the start of the pandemic the private equity firm has provided more than £100m in follow-on funding across its 12 regional locations to strengthen its 90-strong portfolio of mid-market UK businesses.

LDC has also continued its support of local causes through its national partnership with The Prince’s Trust and its sponsorship of, and participation in, Break the Cycle 2021, Bristol Sport Foundation and Bristol Bears Community Foundation’s largest annual fundraiser that encourages people to cycle and raise money for these organisations which help to motivate people through sporting activities. The initiative this year raised more than £30,000.

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