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LDC exits Solid Solutions

28 Jun 2022

Leading mid-market private equity firm LDC has exited Solid Solutions, a market leading reseller of 3D design software, to TriMech, a US-based technology and business solutions partner for designers, engineers, and manufacturers.

Founded in 1998 and with headquarters in Leamington Spa, Solid Solutions is the UK and Ireland’s leading independent provider of SOLIDWORKS, a 3D computer-aided design (CAD) package.

It supports a community of more than 16,000 customers across the UK and Ireland, which includes product designers, mechanical engineers, manufacturers, and educational institutions, and provides an extensive range of 3D CAD and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software tools, as well as comprehensive training and support services.

LDC backed Solid Solutions’ management team, led by CEO and Founder Alan Sampson, CTO Simon Turner and CSO Kathy Sampson in 2020. Since then, the private equity firm has helped the business to deliver an organic and acquisitive growth strategy.

LDC supported Solid Solutions to acquire Design Rule Limited and Desktop Engineering Limited in 2021. In addition to expanding its customer base, the acquisitions further enhanced Solid Solutions’ ability to deliver advanced design, engineering, and enterprise-wide solutions for its customers.

LDC also helped the business to pivot more of its training sessions to online skills development events which resulted in additional customers adopting more advanced software solutions. The switch to remote training has helped Solid Solutions to lower its carbon emissions and forms an integral part of its ESG strategy. The business has planted more than 9,000 trees in forests in developing countries as part of its commitment to plant 50 trees for every Solid Print3D machine sold.

Over the past two years, Solid Solutions has grown revenues by more than 35%, up to £73m in its latest financial year. Today, the business employs more than 250 people and was recently rated as one of the 75 best companies to work for in the Midlands by its employees.

The transaction was led by LDC’s West Midlands team. TriMech will now support the next stage of Solid Solutions’ growth journey. TriMech is a portfolio company of Sentinel Capital Partners, a US private equity firm that invests in companies with EBITDA of up to $80 million. As part of the transaction, Solid Solutions’ CEO Alan Sampson will be appointed President of TriMech’s UK and European business and the wider management team will remain in place.

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Rob and the rest of the team at LDC fully supported our strategy to grow our business. They encouraged us to be bold with our plans, and to act quickly and efficiently for the benefit of our customers. We could not have asked for a more supportive and engaging partner.”
Alan Sampson, CEO
Solid Solutions

Rob Schofield, Partner at LDC, said: “Our partnership with Solid Solutions is a fantastic example of how private equity investment can support a founder-owned family business to realise its growth plans. Its success is down to the hard work of the management team and its employees. This transaction finds a good home for the business and represents an excellent outcome for everyone at Solid Solutions. We wish them all the best for the future.”

LDC and Solid Solutions were advised by Alantra (corporate finance) and Gowling WLG (legal).