The Birmingham office of mid-market private equity firm LDC has backed the management buyout of UK-based shower brand Aqualisa for an undisclosed price from Sankaty Advisors, LLC, the credit affiliate of Bain Capital, and RBS.
Aqualisa designs and manufactures a range of digital, mixer and electric showers and accessories, retailing through builders’ merchants, distributors, specifiers, and showrooms.
Founded in the 1970s, it has earned a reputation for innovation over almost four decades. Its patented, bi-metallic shower valve, which reduces limescale build-up, revolutionised the market in the 1980s and is still manufactured by the company today.
It also launched the first digital shower in 2001 and introduced new wireless remote technology in 2005.
As part of the transaction, LDC has made a significant equity investment, backing a management team led by CEO, David Hollander.
The investment was led by LDC Birmingham director Andy Lyndon and investment director Ben Snow, both of whom will join the board.
Aqualisa’s management team was advised by Springboard Corporate Finance and CMS Cameron McKenna, and the sellers were advised by Catalyst Corporate Finance.
LDC was advised on the deal by PwC, CiL and Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co.
HSBC, advised by Gateley, provided banking facilities for the transaction.
Following the deal, Aqualisa plans to accelerate its investment in new product development to introduce new technologies to the digital, mixer and electric categories, as well as continuing its investment in its base of installers and customers to drive growth across the wider market.
Ben Snow, investment director of LDC, said: “Aqualisa is a Great British success story, whose design and technology-led approach to manufacturing has driven innovation in the market for decades.
“With a first-class management team, a clear roadmap for new product development, a market leading brand and a truly differentiated proposition, we’re hugely excited about the opportunity to achieve even greater scale and success in the years ahead.”