Lead Forensics

News

LDC exits Aqualisa to Fortune Brands in £130m sale

2 Aug 2022

Leading mid-market private equity firm LDC has exited its seven-year investment in bathroom specialist Aqualisa to Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc (NYSE: Fortune Brands) in a transaction that values the company at £130m.

Founded in 1977, Aqualisa is the UK’s leading designer, developer and producer of innovative shower products. The company invented the world’s first digital shower and is known for its commitment to innovation and new product development, particularly in the smart bathroom category.

US-headquartered Fortune Brands is a leading manufacturer of home and security products with a portfolio of over 30 global brands, sales of $7.7bn and facilities around the world. The sale enables Aqualisa to continue scaling its international presence, taking its British designed products to more markets around the world.

LDC first invested in Aqualisa in 2015 to support the company’s new product development, with a particular focus on smart home showers that have personalisation, water- and eco-friendly benefits, and, latterly, to expand internationally through new partnerships with distributors and customers across Europe.

Over the same period, Aqualisa also invested in its own ESG programme. This has included analysing energy consumption monthly and running employee awareness campaigns to help reduce consumption. As a result, Aqualisa now diverts 100% of waste from landfill and has been classified as carbon neutral.

The sale to Fortune Brands values Aqualisa at £130m – a near-threefold increase since LDC’s original investment, with profits more than doubling since 2019 – generating a money multiple return of 4x.

orange quote mark
LDC has been an invaluable partner to Aqualisa over the last seven years. We have built a great team and with their support have been able to invest and innovate. We have made great strides through the development of products that are smarter, safer and greener, and we now have a fantastic opportunity to further build on that as we become part of the Fortune Brands group and look to accelerate our growth globally with them. I’d like to thank the team at LDC for their long-term support to our business.”
Mat Norris, CEO
Aqualisa

Rob Powell, Partner at LDC, added: “Aqualisa is a great story of a British company at the forefront of product development, with a brand synonymous with premium quality and innovation. Throughout our partnership, the team has built on its foundations and developed a world leading product range with exciting capabilities. With its continual development of smart connectivity its next generation showers provide water flow, energy measurement and cost tracking functionality which will see it leading the way in the development of the smart bathroom.

“After a successful seven-year partnership, becoming part of the Fortune Brands family is a perfect outcome and provides a global platform for its continued growth.”

LDC has a strong heritage of supporting the growth of similar British businesses having invested more than £1.2bn in the manufacturing sector. Most recently, the private equity firm exited pump manufacturer Stuart Turner following revenue growth of more than 66%, and invested in manufacturer and distributor Bramble Foods and electronic security manufacturer Texecom.

LDC and Aqualisa were advised on this transaction by Rothschild (Stephen Griffiths and Samantha Gough) and Gowling (Chris Letters and Jeremy Millington).