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LDC exits nursery care company kidsunlimited in 10x EBITDA deal

11 Apr 2013

childcareLloyds Bank’s private equity arm LDC has exited its stake in UK nursery care provider kidsunlimited after trade buyer Bright Horizons Family Solutions bought the business in a £45m cash deal.

That price represented a 10x EBITDA multiple according to a source with knowledge of the deal.

LDC grew revenues at the company by 40 per cent between its 2008 buyout and the end of the March 2012, when they hit £41.4m.

It also opened 15 new sites and said it invested heavily in training and resources.

LDC picked up kidsunlimited from fellow mid-market firm ISIS Equity Partners in 2008, with the company’s management taking a majority shareholding.

It is thought LDC picked up a 47 per cent stake, with the overall deal also valuing the business at £45m according to ISIS.

At that point the company’s turnover was £30m, up from £8m when ISIS first invested through an MBO in 2001.

LDC director Steve Harrison said, “This is a strong strategic fit for both companies.

“Ros and the management team have done an outstanding job in driving organic growth and the nursery rollout strategy.

“The team has also continued to deliver on its commitment to quality standards across the group, carving out a reputation as a leading player in the promotion of childcare and early years education in the UK.”

Earlier this week Harrison led the sale of MB Aerospace to Arlington Capital Partners.

LDC invested more than £280m of equity across 18 new business last year, and another £86m supporting portfolio company acquisitions, the firm said.

This year it has already backed vehicle barrier systems business ATG Access, claims management and fraud software service Validus-IVC, oil and gas services group Ramco, community healthcare equipment outsourcer NRS Healthcare and tonic water and mixers brand Fever-Tree.

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