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LDC exits UK vehicle management business Leasedrive to HgCapital

9 Dec 2013

UK mid-market firm LDC has completed its exit from Leasedrive, the UK’s largest independent privately-owned vehicle management group. Following the exit, LDC has subsequently re-invested in Leasedrive, retaining an interest in the business as part of a new deal with HgCapital, which has acquired a controlling stake.

LDC originally invested in Leasedrive in August 2008 and the transaction provides an “excellent” return in just over five years, the firm said.

Leasedrive Group was established in 1983, a BIMBO transaction was completed in May 2003 and Leasedrive was merged with Velo in 2007, to form one of the largest independent privately-owned vehicle management groups in the UK.

Since the investment by LDC Leasedrive has seen “substantial” sales and profit growth during the investment period, including their deal to acquire Masterlease UK in partnership with Investec which completed in December 2010. In its most recent results for the financial year ended December 2012, turnover increased to £116m, a 52 per cent uplift during the investment period. Operating profit for the same financial year was £14m, up from circa £5m at the time of LDC’s original investment.

Alex Snodgrass, LDC investment executive said, “In Leasedrive, we’ve enjoyed a successful partnership with a high-quality management team of a market-leading business. Against a challenging economic environment, Leasedrive has performed extremely well; growing its market share, securing significant new contracts with key blue-chip corporates and completing the high-quality and strategic acquisition of Masterlease.”

The transaction with Leasedrive is LDC’s 12th strategic exit of 2013, and follows realisations through a number of transactions, including the sales of advanced lighting specialist JCC Lighting to leading US electrical manufacturing company Leviton, energy management group Matrix to E.ON Connecting Energies, temporary access group Eve Trakway to Ashtead PLC and retailer Mountain Warehouse to its management team.

During 2013, LDC has invested over £350m in 19 new businesses, with a further £50 m of capital to support portfolio business acquisitions.

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