LDC’s South team picked up three awards at The Thames Valley Deals Awards last night. The team was awarded Large Deal of the Year for its successful sale of Babble, Mid-range Deal of Year for its minority investment in Aker Systems and LDC-backed Foundation SP won Management Team of the Year.
The award wins add to a successful period for the team following its recent exit from leading provider of ultra-secure cloud-based infrastructure Aker Systems and its investment in Brighton-headquartered multi-award-winning hospitality and leisure operator Boxpark.
LDC exited Babble in 2020 in a transaction that valued the unified communications and cyber security services provider at £90million. It followed a three-year partnership with LDC, where the LDC South team provided nearly £9million of follow-on funding to support six acquisitions. In that time, the firm increased turnover by 230% and headcount by 200%.
Commenting after winning the Large Deal of the Year award, Matt Parker, CEO of Babble said: “Babble has grown very quickly. This deal was 20 times larger than the one we completed with LDC three years ago and you can’t do that without having a strong team of advisers around you. We worked with them all the way through last year’s difficult environment. LDC exited its stake and this secondary MBO takes us forward. Since completing the deal in November 2020, we have made a further nine acquisitions and the company is nearly two times larger.”
LDC’s minority investment in Aker Systems in 2020 was recognised as the Mid-range Deal of the Year. The LDC South team has since worked closely with the management team to grow the business by more than 50 per cent by supporting investment in research and development. The business’ growth led to LDC exiting its stake to Abry Partners in September 2021.
Finally, the management team of LDC-backed Foundation SP was recognised as The Management Team of the Year at the Thames Valley Deal Awards. LDC invested in the Reading-headquartered digital transformation specialist in December 2020 to support the existing management team’s organic growth strategy.
Commenting on the award win, Tim Ebenezer, COO at Foundation SP said: “Last year was challenging for us with Covid-19 but we outperformed all of our forecasts. We added 50 people and had strong growth. We were privately owned and the management buyout saw LDC take a stake in the business. We chose them because it was a brilliant cultural match for us. We are now continuing with organic and acquisitive growth.”
Related case study
FSP: Backing a people-centric digital transformation business
Multi-million pound minority investment to support organic growth.
Babble: Acquisitive IT business
First three years of partnership supports six acquisitions with £9milion of follow-on funding.
Aker Systems: A strategic partnership
LDC’s strategic partnership with Aker Systems supported the management team to further invest in research and development.