My business didn’t grow in its last full financial year, but is growing in the current financial year – can I still enter the LDC Top 50?

Yes. The requirement is that the business is experiencing year on year growth at the time of entering.

My business isn’t UK based – can still enter?

Sorry, businesses are required to be UK based in order to eligible for the Top 50 business awards.

My business is a UK based subsidiary of an overseas parent company – can I still enter?

Yes, as long as the subsidiary business is registered in the UK and files accounts here.

My business is a listed company – can I still enter?

Sorry, we’re looking for business leaders running privately-owned companies.

I’m in the leadership team but not the CEO or MD – can I still enter?

Sorry, we’re looking for nominations from the person ultimately leading the organisation.

I’m in a joint-leadership role – can we both enter?

Yes, we will consider Top 50 entries from candidates in joint leadership roles, either individually or jointly.

I’m nominating someone else for the Top 50 business awards – when do they find out that they’ve been nominated?

Candidates nominated by a third party will be contacted by our team after a nomination is made to ensure they’re happy to participate.

I don’t want the business leader I’m nominating to know their nomination is from me – is this possible?

No. I’m afraid due to data regulations we need to be able to confirm who has submitted the nomination.

I’m nominating someone else but can’t provide some of the information?

We only request very basic financial information on the company and candidate so hopefully this won’t be an issue.

What criteria are the awards’ judges looking for?

Judges will be looking for individuals with a clear vision for their business, a deliverable plan for achieving their goals and evidence of a successful track record to date.

For guidance, your nomination may want to include detail on the vision, evidence of plans to support it and information on the candidate’s successes to date.

Can I include supporting materials?

We’ve deliberately kept the nomination process simple. You can volunteer additional supporting materials if you’re shortlisted to help with the profile article we’ll produce.

Do you need photography?

We will contact you requesting photography if you’re shortlisted.

Do you need a copy of our accounts?

We do request basic financial information on the company as part of the nomination process. This can be provided in writing or by submitting the relevant accounts alongside your nomination. You can of course provide proforma trading figures to evidence growth if your last set of accounts show a decline in sales.

What is the LDC Top 50 shortlisting process?

We will review all candidates based on the strength of their nomination and a desktop review of the business in question to ensure it meets the eligibility criteria.

Why do you want to come and visit me during the nomination process and what do I need to prepare?

Shortlisted candidates may be contacted to ask if they’d be happy for us to meet them during the nomination process. This will help our team build up an accurate picture of the candidate and explore their role, success and business. It’s a short, informal meeting and no preparation is required. This is not compulsory, so you don’t have to accept a visit if you’d rather not.

What happens next?

Once nominations have closed at the end of May 2020, successful candidates will be contacted to confirm their place in the Top 50. You will then be interviewed by an experienced journalist for a profile article to appear in The Telegraph newspaper and online on the Top 50 website.

Are people ranked?

No, this is a listing not a ranking, and names will appear alphabetically.

Do I get the chance to approve my profile article?

The article will be based on information you have provided about you and your business, will be positive in nature and will be prepared by an experienced and well-respected journalist. After the interview, we will provide copy for fact checking only. With 50 articles to produce we don’t have sufficient time to make stylistic amends, but all candidates will be given 24 hours to advise on any factual inaccuracies.

How is the winner chosen?

A panel of judges will review the 50 business leaders who appear in The Telegraph to determine who deserves to be awarded the most ambitious title. There is no interview required for this.

If I’m chosen, will I be told in advance?

The winner will be announced at a celebratory networking event in London. Exact timescales for the 2020 programme will be announced shortly.

Is it possible to get a deadline extension?

The deadline for 2020 nominations is 31st May 2020. If you need more time, please contact the team at Top50@ldc.co.uk and we’ll consider your request.

What if my question isn’t answered here?

Please contact the team at Top50@ldc.co.uk and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

How much does LDC invest in a business?

LDC usually invests between £10m and £50m in each transaction but we’re flexible – with up to £100m available for each company. This means we can continue to support businesses with follow on funding throughout the life of the partnership.

Find out more about how LDC can support your growth ambitions with capital and expertise.

What types of deals does LDC do?

Every private equity deal is different – the type of deal that’s right for you depends on your strategy and objectives. LDC can work with you to structure an investment that suits you – whether as a minority or majority investor in a management buyout, secondary buyout, development capital or carve out.

Find out more about the different types of private equity deals.

Which sectors does LDC invest in?

We have partnered with over 600 management teams across all sectors of the UK economy – including healthcare, retail & consumer, technology. media & telecoms (TMT), industrials, financial services, support services, travel & leisure and construction & property.

Find out how we have helped business in your sector grow.

How does LDC add value?

Working with private equity firms helps to bring additional value, for example non-executive directors joining the board of a business. At LDC, we also provide access to our Value Creation Partners (VCP), who can help you identify pressure points and growth opportunities across your business – in areas from sales and marketing to procurement and working capital.

Discover more about how LDC can add real value to the businesses we back and meet our Value Creation Partners.

What’s it like working with LDC?

You’ll be in good company. Over 600 management teams across the UK have chosen LDC’s flexible approach to private equity over the past 35 years. Every one of those growth journeys is different but they all have two things in common: ambition and partnership. We’ll get to know you and your business, backing you to achieve your business ambitions.

Find out more about working with LDC.

How long will LDC be invested for?

As part of Lloyds Banking Group, we’re not like other private equity firms. We don’t have to focus on fundraising. Nor do we have a set fund cycle. So we can be more flexible, supporting you through ups and downs.

Some of our tenures have been less than a year and some have been for more than ten years – whatever happens, we will support until it is right for everyone involved to proceed with an exit strategy. And we often stay invested after that.

Find out more about LDC here.

What is private equity and how does it work?

Private equity funding is the injection of capital into a business in return for a minority or majority stake in the business. This capital – plus the private equity firm’s operational expertise – enables the portfolio company to increase in value, deploying a variety of growth strategies.

Find out more about private equity. Or discover why LDC is very different to other private equity houses.

Why choose private equity investment?

Private equity can enable a change to the ownership structure of a business. For example, if the business owner has reached a stage in their career where they are looking to take a step back, de-risk and realise some of the value they have created.

Most importantly, businesses backed by private equity can grow faster than companies that access capital by other means – thanks to the combination of funding and strategic input from experienced partners.

To find out how private equity has helped businesses in your sector, read our case studies.

What do private equity firms look for in an investment?

Every private equity firm will have its own investment strategy. A traditional approach requires the business looking for investment to have a steady and reliable cash flow, strong track record and a clear future growth path. LDC takes a management-focused approach, supporting those leading an organisation – and backing their knowledge, expertise and ambitions.

You can find out more about LDC’s investment criteria here.

How do private equity firms add value?

The role of private equity is to work in partnership with business leaders to build scale and value. Together, they can supercharge the growth of a business, through making business improvements, organic growth, acquisitions or international expansion.

Working with private equity firms can also bring additional value, like access to experienced business advisors or non-executive directors joining the board.

Discover more about how LDC can add real value to the businesses we back and meet our Value Creation Partners.

How can private equity fund new business growth?

Private equity investors help management teams map out and execute growth strategies. Each company’s opportunities are different and investors shape their approach accordingly. It could be making acquisitions, launching new products, building new manufacturing facilities, breaking into new sectors or expanding overseas.

Due to LDC’s unique funding structure, we have up to £100 million to invest in each of our portfolio companies. We’re able to provide follow-on funding to back further expansion – whether that’s capital to finance a bolt-on acquisition or the development of a new facility.

Find out how private equity can support a variety of growth strategies here.

How can I buy a competitor or acquire another business?

Private equity can help support a buy and build strategy to help businesses expand, diversify or consolidate market leadership. This extends beyond the capital to purchase a business and includes significant mergers & acquisition (M&A) expertise to help integrate the acquired business.

LDC can help identify, acquire and integrate suitable businesses. We have supported 30 acquisitions across our portfolio in the last 18 months alone.

Read our buy and build case studies to see examples.

How does the private equity investment process work?

Every private equity deal is different – but there are a number of common stages of the deal process. The right private equity partner will work with you to make sure the process works for you.

You can find out more about LDC’s private equity investment process here.

Is it better to get corporate loans than private equity?

A loan through a bank or corporate lender can provide you with capital to grow your company. A private equity partner can also provide you with advice, insight and experience alongside the money you need to see your visions become reality.

Find out more about the benefits of private equity in our guide to private equity.

What is the difference between private equity and venture capital?

The distinctions between private equity and venture capital funding are often misunderstood. While both options offer cash and expertise to drive growth, the scale of investment and methods of working have a clear difference.

Private equity firms tend to back established companies with a strong track record – demonstrating consistent growth and profitability, with a proven management team at the helm.

Venture capital funding specialises in start-up and early stage businesses, often operating in high-growth sectors such as technology and fintech.

Find out more about how private equity can support you and your business.

What are the main private equity exit strategies?

There are three typical exit routes for a private equity company:

• IPO or flotation – where the company offers its shares for sale on a public stock market, often with the private equity partner continuing to hold shares
• Trade sale – sale of the company’s shares to another company, likely to be a larger corporate in a similar industry
• Secondary buyout – the sale of the company’s shares to another private equity firm

Read more about how LDC can help you prepare for an IPO.

What are the advantages of private equity investment for your company?

Private equity helps you open up growth opportunities without losing control of your business. For example, a management team might want to raise funds to allow the existing owner to take a step back, or to expand or diversify the business.

With private equity, as well as getting the capital that you need, you’ll also be backed by experienced business partners.

Hear from LDC-backed CEOs on how the private equity experience has helped them achieve their ambitions.

Is private equity worth it and right for me?

Private equity is a big step for any company and business leader. But it can be a catalyst to help you transform and grow your business – with financial benefits for all shareholders.

Read some private equity success stories here.

How is a private equity transaction structured?

A private equity investment is typically a medium to long-term investment in your company. Giving you a capital injection by acquiring ordinary shares and/or making loans to the company.

There are various ways in which a deal or transaction will be structured. Each company’s needs and ambitions are unique, so the deal needs to be tailored accordingly.

Speak to an expert to find out what your private equity journey could look like.

How do private equity firms finance their buyouts?

Many private equity firms generate capital through funds and large institutional investors – including pension funds, insurance firms and banks.

LDC has a unique funding structure. As part of Lloyds Banking Group, LDC does not need to fundraise due to ongoing funding from the bank. This allows us to deploy patient capital, working to the timetable of our portfolio businesses.

Find out more about the benefits of LDC’s unique funding structure.

What legal agreements and documents are needed in a private equity deal?

The main transaction documents for a private equity deal are usually:

  • Share Purchase Agreement – governs the acquisition of the company’s shares and the consideration paid
  • Shareholders’ Agreement – governs the relationship between the shareholders
  • Debt documents – facility agreement, security documents and any inter-creditor agreements
  • Plus a range of ancillary documentation.

Read more about the elements of a private equity deal in our jargon buster.

How do you choose a private equity firm?

The right private equity partner can enable business owners to supercharge the growth of their company – while they continue to run it and realise some of the value they have already created.

There are many different types of private equity house with different investment strategies and styles, including how actively involved they are in the management of the business. It’s important to explore the options to help you decide on the right kind of private equity partner for you and your business.

Find out more about what makes LDC different to other institutional investors.