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LDC exits SPS following long-term partnership

7 Apr 2022

SPS Group has attracted significant new investment from UK-based Pricoa Private Capital, part of Prudential Financial Inc. In addition to supporting SPS’s exciting growth plans, the investment also provides an exit for existing private equity investor, LDC.

Specialist People Services is a well-established and unique recruitment business providing critical labour solutions to the logistics market in the UK and internationally. The group encompasses the operating brands Driver Hire Nationwide, Driver Hire Australia, Driver Risk Management and ISS Labour. Annual turnover of the SPS Group is £170m.

With nearly 40 years’ experience, and operating from over 100 branches, Driver Hire Nationwide is the UK’s largest specialist provider of transport and logistics recruitment services with around 4,500 temps working for the group each day as drivers, warehouse workers and in management roles. Driver Hire Australia provides similar services from 8 offices across Australia.

Driver Risk Management provides a range of training, risk management and compliance services to help logistics operators effectively manage their people. ISS Labour is a leading supplier of safety critical workers to the rail and light rail sector.

LDC first backed the management team, led by CEO Chris Chidley, in 2011 and has since supported an acquisitive and international growth strategy. The transaction marks the end of a successful partnership which provides a money multiple return of 2.9x for LDC.

In addition to facilitating the exit of LDC, Pricoa’s investment will support the organic growth plans of the Group in the UK and Australia, and provide the ability to consider strategic acquisitions including international expansion.

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Having enjoyed great support from LDC over recent years, our new investment from Pricoa, which includes them taking a significant minority stake in SPS, positions us perfectly to deliver our ambitious plans for growth both in the UK and internationally. They have demonstrated proactivity and ambition, and an alignment with our objectives, which makes them the ideal choice as our new funding partner.”
Chris Chidley, Chief Executive
SPS Group

Dan Smith, Partner and Head of Yorkshire at LDC, commented:

“Over the past decade, SPS has evolved from a provider of temporary labour to the UK logistics sector into a truly international recruitment group. We wish them the best of luck on the next stage of their journey.”

Ed Barker, Senior Vice President, Pricoa Private Capital, commented:

“We have been impressed by the quality of the SPS businesses, their leading market positions, the strength of their management team, and indeed of the wider franchisee network. We are delighted to help them achieve their immediate goals and look forward to contributing to the continued success of the group and to helping them reach their ambitious future aspirations.”

The shareholders of SPS were advised by Clearwater International and Squire Patton Boggs. Squire Patton Boggs also advised the management team of SPS, with corporate finance advice provided by Sentio Partners. Pricoa were advised by Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP with due diligence provided by KPMG, CIL and Global Counsel.