News

LDC-backed Mandata expands footprint with new acquisition

23 Jun 2020

Northumberland-based transport management software provider Mandata has acquired the UK’s largest online haulage and freight exchange, Returnloads.net, for an undisclosed sum. The transaction was funded by LDC, the UK’s leading mid-market private equity investor. Debt facilities were provided by Santander.

Led by CEO Chris Rigg, Mandata designs and develops software that allows road transport operators to manage workflow and data more effectively. The acquisition of Returnloads.net will expand the firm’s customer base and breadth of digital services. It will also help Mandata’s customers win more work and drive further visibility and productivity through their own businesses and supply chains.

Headquartered in Essex, Returnloads.net is an online marketplace for hauliers and freight forwarders. It offers its members the opportunity to subcontract jobs and to advertise empty vehicle capacity that often results from having to run an empty load on a return journey. The platform helps hauliers improve their productivity by reducing the amount they travel without cargo. Using its advanced digital load matching systems, each day the business processes thousands of live loads and hundreds of empty haulage vehicles offers.

Returnloads.net’s’ system will complement Mandata’s market-leading transport management software, which integrates a suite of products, including traffic planning and management, tracking, telematics, and invoicing, on a single platform.

Since LDC’s backing in 2018, Mandata has grown recurring revenues by 10% each year and has pursued a growth strategy which focuses on investment in its products and proposition. In April this year, the company launched Mandata Now, a new transport management system for haulage and logistics operators with less than 10 vehicles.

Chris Rigg, CEO of Mandata, said: “Returnloads.net’s focus on using digital solutions to benefit the road transport and logistics sector matched our own objectives perfectly. This acquisition will help us diversify and expand our offering, while continuing to give customers the tools they need to reduce costs, drive efficiencies and improve productivity.

Since LDC’s investment, we have made significant progress on our growth plan. Innovation underpins our model, so it’s been invaluable to work with a partner that understands how to support technology businesses and has the financial firepower, sector knowledge and heritage in the North East we need to achieve our ambitions.”
Chris Rigg, CEO
Mandata

Gareth Marshall, Head of Newcastle at LDC, added: “LDC actively supports management teams which are looking to grow their businesses through acquisition. This acquisition is a major milestone in Mandata’s growth journey and evidence of the strength of the North East’s technology sector during such an uncertain time for businesses.

“We have worked closely with Chris and the team to fund and support this acquisition. I’m confident Mandata is now even better positioned to help customers thrive as UK transport becomes increasingly digital.”

Mandata was advised by Muckle (legal) and KPMG (financial due diligence).