LDC exits Easynet

LDC has sold its minority stake in Easynet, a provider of managed networking, hosting and cloud integration services. The buyer was Interoute. No financial terms were disclosed.


The London team of mid-market private equity firm LDC has exited its minority investment in global managed service provider Easynet following completion of its acquisition by Interoute.

LDC backed the original buyout of Easynet from BskyB in 2010, working alongside management to build the UK’s leading independent provider of managed networking, hosting and cloud integration services.

It reinvested as part of Equistone Partners Europe’s simultaneous acquisition of Easynet and MDNX Group in 2013, a deal which created the largest independent network and hosting integrator in Europe.

The sale to Interoute delivers a money multiple of 2.2x for LDC.

In the last 12 months, LDC’s London team has completed seven exits, generating gross proceeds of almost £400m.

Other divestments have included the IPO of premium drinks brand Fever Tree, the secondary buyout of media group Ocean Outdoor by Searchlight Capital Partners, the £160m sale of price comparison site uSwitch to Zoopla Property Group and the £55m sale of leading independent production company Twofour Group to ITV plc. It has also sold stakes in consultancy firm Blue Rubicon to US based Teneo and live music business MAMA & Company to NYSE-listed Live Nation.

During the same period, the London team, which is led by Chief Executive Chris Hurley, has invested in three new deals with a combined enterprise value of £160m, namely Capital Economics, one of the world’s leading independent macro-economic research companies, online travel agent Iglu and PEI Media Group, the alternative assets information group.

The 12-strong investment team has made four new hires so far this year, including Investment Directors Steve Phillips from LGV Capital, James Morris from Grant Thornton and Paul Figgins from LDC’s Midlands team.

Chris Hurley, Chief Executive of LDC, said: “In the last year, the London investment team has made an important contribution to LDC’s success nationally, delivering some outstanding strategic exits and securing quality assets in highly competitive processes.

“Having now rebuilt and expanded the team – and with £1.2bn of capital to invest over the next three years – we’re ideally placed to continue backing more ambitious management teams like Easynet to build world class businesses with global scale through LDC’s unique value enhancing approach to private equity.”

Press information:

About LDC:
1. LDC is part of Lloyds Banking Group and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

2. LDC backs ambitious management teams from UK-based companies seeking up to £100m of equity for management buy-outs, institutional buy-outs or development capital transactions.

3. LDC has, since 1981, completed over 500 investments.

4. LDC has a portfolio of 90 businesses across the UK which collectively generates £4bn of revenues and over £400m of profit, and employs in excess of 30,000 people.

5. LDC invests in a broad range of sectors and has particular experience in Construction & Property, Financial Services, Healthcare, Industrials, Retail & Consumer, TMT, Travel & Leisure and Support Services.

6. LDC has invested £1.6bn into ambitious businesses in the past five years to support their growth.

7. LDC invested over £250m of equity across 16 businesses in 2014. It also continued to support the ‘buy and build’ strategies of portfolio firms with £28m of additional equity funding for acquisitions during the same period.

8. LDC is the leading private equity company in the UK mid-market. Investments in 2015 include NEC Group, PDG Helicopters, Synexus, SSP, Away Resorts, Aspin Group, Iglu and Seabrooks.

9. LDC has a UK regional network with offices in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, London, Manchester, Nottingham and Reading.

10. For further information, visit www.ldc.co.uk