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London
July 19, 2024
PI Global Investments
Private Equity

Private equity investor acquires procurement and technology specialist


LDC, a private equity investor which is part of Lloyds Banking Group, has made a significant investment in procurement and technology business The 55 Group, to support its growth strategy.

The Hull-based group, which provides built environment-related software and services to public and private organisations across the UK, has been sold by Maven Capital Partners, an investor in high-growth businesses.

As part of the transaction, Maven will retain a small shareholding in The 55 Group.

The group’s offering comprises three brands including Pagabo, a procurement platform that connects private and public sector buyers to contractors via national frameworks, Loop, social value measurement software supporting the construction and infrastructure project lifecycle, and Sypro, a contract and risk management software solution for ongoing project management.

The 55 Group has grown rapidly in recent years following increased demand for digital solutions that support sustainable procurement practices and investment in critical UK infrastructure.

It employs more than 90 people and has grown revenue and headcount by over 35% since 2022.

LDC is backing The 55 Group’s existing management team, led by co-founder and CEO Simon Toplass, as it pursues an ambitious growth strategy underpinned by further investment in its technology and services.

The group will also continue to expand its team of experienced professionals which support its clients based across the UK.

The transaction was led by LDC’s team in Yorkshire, including partner and head of Yorkshire Dan Smith, investment director Will Scales and investment managers Ana-Maria Garaba and Anthony West.

David Brennan, a technology entrepreneur and non-executive chairman of business mobility provider Nexus Vehicle Rental, will join the board as non-executive chair.

Simon Toplass

Toplass said: “Our stable of brands are perfectly positioned to support organisations at every stage of the procurement and construction management process, making it easier for both buyers and suppliers of construction services to factor metrics like social value into decision making, which are essential if the entire ecosystem is going to continue to have a positive impact on communities.

“The help of the team at LDC, who have a proven track record of supporting technology and services businesses like ours, will be invaluable as we continue to invest in our offering and take the business to the next level.”

Smith said: “The 55 Group is a great example of a fast growing Yorkshire business led by a hugely ambitious team.

“It represents LDC’s third investment in the region in just under 12 months, underlining our commitment to supporting the best businesses in Yorkshire.

“It is also another example of the strength of our leading software and data credentials in the built environment space, where we continue to see a shift towards more digital ways of working and an increased focus on ESG.”

Scales added: “The quality of The 55 Group’s offering and technology in supporting sustainable and compliant practices is unique and we are excited about what the future holds for the business as it continues to invest in its people, products and services.”

Ryan Bevington, partner at Maven, said: “The successful sale of The 55 Group underscores the value of our investment strategy which is focused on backing exceptional management teams running high growth businesses, which often require investment or additional expertise to unlock their potential.

“In less than three years, we’ve seen the successful integration of three complementary businesses and the creation of an ESG focused digital platform which supports many of the UK’s leading public and private sector organisations in the delivery of their infrastructure plans.”

Bevington and Jeremy Thompson, both partners in Maven’s Manchester office, led the original investment through to exit for Maven.

The 55 Group was advised by Rothschild (Stephen Griffiths), Addleshaw Goddard (Richard Hunt and Peter Wood), Graph Strategy (James Tetherton) and KPMG FDD. Management were advised by Park Place (Richard Firth). 

LDC was advised by KPMG (Ben Taylor), Squire Patton Boggs (Paul Mann and David Milne), DSW FDD (Jonathan Steed), PMSI (David Crout), Better Faster Growth and Catalysis.

HSBC, advised by DLA Piper, provided financing and working capital facilities to support the transaction.

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