Mid-market private equity firm LDC has completed the sale of its stake in Midland water cooler service provider Angel Springs, in a multi-million pound deal with German-based private equity provider Castik Capital.
The transaction provides a healthy return for LDC, which has tripled its original investment in three years.
Headquartered in Wolverhampton, Angel Springs provides both bottled and mains-fed water coolers to businesses and organisations throughout the UK and currently services more than 60,000 water coolers.
The business also has a UK-wide network of 10 regional service and distribution centres.
After taking a majority stake in Angel Springs in 2011, LDC supported the firm’s existing management team, led by managing director John Dundon, as it aimed to drive organic growth, as well as pursuing a ‘buy-and-build’ growth strategy.
The business secured significant new contracts with both SMEs and multi-site blue chip organisations, whilst completing nine acquisitions.
In 2012 LDC also supported Angel Springs’ head office relocation to a new 10,000 sq ft building in Wolverhampton.
The business has achieved substantial sales and profit growth over the three years of LDC’s investment, with turnover rising from £14 million to around £20 million.
Employee numbers have also risen during the investment period, with the business now employing more than 200 people, up from 131 people at the beginning of 2011.
The original investment and subsequent exit was completed by LDC’s Birmingham based team, led by director and Birmingham office head Andy Lyndon, who acted as LDC’s representative on the board throughout the investment.
The deal was completed by LDC with support from a number of Midland-based advisors, including Deloitte, PwC and Freeths.
Altium advised Castik Capital on the acquisition.
Martin Draper, chief executive of LDC, said: “In Angel Springs, we recognised the opportunity to partner with a high quality management team and a business with a leading reputation for quality and customer service.
“Since our investment, we have worked closely with the management team to accelerate growth and lead consolidation of the UK’s highly fragmented water cooler market.
“With nine successful acquisitions completed in three years, ‘buy and build’ has proved to be a highly effective growth strategy for the business, complementing its new customer wins and strong organic growth, with the business consistently outperforming the market.
“The deal with Castik Capital represents an excellent outcome for Angel Springs. The business has a very strong foundation upon which to progress further under its new ownership and we wish the whole team all the very best for the future.”