Lead Forensics

The year ahead at forty

The necessity of ambition in times of change

Few of us will ever look back on another year like 2020. The challenges of the pandemic created a unique set of circumstances for us all, professionally and personally. Some faced adversity, others found opportunity, and everyone felt uncertainty.

But an important characteristic in the management teams we have partnered with over the last 40 years is that of ambition. And last year showed just how resilient ambition can be.

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2020 in numbers

deployed in new investments
management teams backed
portfolio acquisitions
portfolio companies exited
average sales growth of exits
total proceeds generated

Backing ambition since 1981

This year marks LDC’s 40th in business. Since 1981, we’ve supported over 650 management teams and invested more than £5.5bn in mid-sized businesses.

And in 2021, we remain just as keen to support ambitious management teams across every region and sector of the UK economy.

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A Trusted Partner

Over the last 40 years we have successfully backed more than 650 ambitious management teams across different sectors and regions of the UK economy. Here we celebrate some of those partnerships and showcase the role private equity has played in supporting business leaders through ups and downs. Their stories, in their words.

Making an impact – Debbie Bestwick MBE, Founder, Team17

Debbie Bestwick MBE is the Founder and CEO of Team17, the Yorkshire-based video games powerhouse behind Worms and The Escapists. She secured private equity investment from LDC in 2016 and the firm more than doubled its turnover in the following year.

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Just the tonic – Tim Warrillow, Co-founder and CEO, Fever-Tree

When Tim Warrillow and Charles Rolls started Fever-Tree in 2005, the market for mixers was dominated by a single incumbent. They injected innovation into a stagnant industry, creating tonics that were bursting with intense, natural flavours.

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Making a splash – Tom Joule, Founder, Joules

Tom Joule founded his British lifestyle brand inspired by family, fun and country living in 1989. He started Joules by selling floral prints and trendy wellies at county fairs and agricultural events around the UK.

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Support through the cycle – Nigel Brown, CEO, Microlease

It’s not uncommon for business leaders to find themselves in a needs-must situation where they have to adapt at record speed. Nigel Brown is the Chief Executive of Microlease, now Electro Rent, which hires out electronic testing equipment globally.

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The resilience of ambition

An important characteristic in the management teams we have partnered with over the last 40 years is that of ambition. And last year showed just how resilient ambition can be.

Investing for the future

Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, environmental, social and governance (ESG) remain key considerations across the UK and indeed global economy.

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Chris Thomas
“There are a lot of myths about private equity. The difference with LDC is that they genuinely do back the management team.”
Noor Kimit
An Ambassador from The Prince’s Trust
“We need to give young people the funding and the confidence to pursue their dreams.”
Alistair Mills
Executive Chairman, Kerv
“Working in partnership with LDC to bring together these three businesses creates a strong foundation for growth.”
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The LDC Top 50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders 2020

The LDC Top 50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders programme – now in its third year – celebrates the ambition, drive and resilience of business leaders across the UK.

In 2020, this was no different.

The UK’s leading mid-market private equity house

We’re not your typical private equity house. LDC has a unique model to match the ambitions, values and locations of the management teams we back.

We’ve developed a deep understanding of business through our 40 years of investment experience and our 90-strong portfolio across every sector and region of the UK economy.

Backed by our sole funder Lloyds Banking Group, we have £1.2bn to invest in UK mid-market businesses over the next three years.

  • An exceptional and committed management team
  • A UK-headquartered business in any sector
  • A clear and ambitious growth strategy
  • A track record of year-on-year growth
  • Actual or forecast profits of at least £1m per year