Leading mid-market private equity firm LDC has announced that Chris Handy and David Bains will lead its West Midlands and East Midlands teams respectively, replacing Richard Whitwell when he retires from LDC in March.
The promotions are part of LDC’s plans to expand its presence and support for mid-market businesses across the region and follow a strong year in which the firm completed 20 transactions in the Midlands with a combined value of more than £1.6bn in 2021.
Richard Whitwell, who has led the Midlands team for the past three and a half years, steps down after a near 10-year career with LDC and over 30 years in the industry. He has played a central role in some of LDC’s most successful and high-profile partnerships.
Chris Handy joined LDC eight years ago following a 20-year career in industry, which included operational and financial leadership roles with Rolls-Royce. He also has 10 years’ experience in PwC’s corporate advisory team in the Midlands. Chris is based in the firm’s Birmingham office.
David Bains joined LDC from advisory and investment firm GLP in 2016 where he was a Managing Director focused on UK transactions. He is based in the firm’s Nottingham office and will cover an extended regional patch which includes the East of England.
In the last 12 months LDC’s team in the Midlands has completed new investments in manufacturer and distributor of fine foods Bramble, mobility solutions provider Kingswood, and global manufacturer of ultraviolet technology BioZone Scientific. The team has also expanded its partnership with marina operator Aquavista through the strategic acquisition of Castle Marinas, in addition to providing support for seven other acquisitions across its diverse portfolio.
Successful exits during the same period include holiday park operator Away Resorts after a period of acquisitive and organic growth, and fall protection specialist Kee Safety, following 10 years of international expansion.
To support LDC’s commitment to increase investment in the region, LDC continues to recruit into the Midlands team following the appointment of Karen Mann as Investment Director in October and the return of Craig Hinde as Origination Director in March.
Toby Rougier Chief Executive of LDC, said: “The Midlands is heartland territory for LDC and a region where we have a 40-year track record of helping businesses to grow. Richard has done a great job of leading our activities, portfolio and teams here in recent years and we wish him all the very best following his retirement from LDC.
“We’re committed to increasing our presence across the region and enabling more management teams to access the capital and support needed to realise their ambitions. Promoting Chris and David into their respective roles will help us to continue to deliver on that commitment. Both are experienced investors and have a clear mandate to recruit into their teams and to grow our business across the Midlands.”
As the region looks to recovery and growth, we believe its medium-sized companies will have a critical role to play. They’re the fuel in the Midlands engine and, with the right support, they can turbo-charge the recovery through their ability to scale.”Toby Rougier, Chief Executive