UK mid-market firm LDC backs MBO of data centre operator Node4


UK mid-market private equity house LDC has backed the management buyout of leading regional data centre and managed IT company Node4.

Established in 2004, Node4 is headquartered in Derby, UK and operates four data centre facilities – two in Derby, one in Northampton and a further site in Leeds. The business has an annual turnover of more than £13m and employs over 60 people across its regional footprint.

The deal will provide further capital to help accelerate the continuing growth of Node4, primarily through continued new data centre development, it said, whilst also facilitating the potential acquisition of complementary businesses operating in the data centre and cloud services markets. The transaction also enables the other co-founding shareholders to fully exit the business.

LDC has backed Node4’s existing management team led by managing director and co-founder Andrew Gilbert, who will retain a significant shareholding.

The deal was led by LDC’s regional managing director Martin Draper, together with investment directors Andy Lyndon and James Robinson. As part of the deal Draper will join the board.

Following the deal, former chief executive of TalkTalk Group and chairman of Opel Telecom David Goldie will join as non-executive chairman.

LDC’s Draper said, “Node4 is a well-established market leading regional data centre services business, operating in a rapidly growing market that is being driven by a growing demand for hosted IT services by SMEs across the UK.

“We are partnering with a high-quality management team led by Andrew Gilbert, who has considerable knowledge and experience in the regional data centre services market having founded the business back in 2004. The company provides a high-end service to its regional customer base, and is supported by a well invested infrastructure. Going forward, we will work closely with the team to execute the next phase of the business’ growth and development.”

RBS Birmingham’s structured finance team provided a package of senior debt plus growth capex facilities to support the buyout.

The deal with Node4 represents LDC’s eighth new investment of 2013, having invested over £149m of new funding, together with further £40m of capital to support portfolio business acquisitions.

Most recently the firm sold its minority equity stake in rental equipment company Eve Trakway for £28m.

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