One of the region’s leading mid-market private equity companies has completed a £6.5million investment in a niche engineering solutions group.
LDC – Lloyds TSB Development Capital – has made the investment in Nuclear Engineering Services Limited (NESL) which employs more than 200 staff at operations in Wolverhampton, Risley and Cumbria.
The deal, which was led out of Birmingham with a host of local advisers, takes LDC’s investments this year to more than £50million in three deal transactions valued in excess of £150million.
NESL, which achieved £18million in sales last year, currently benefits from long-term nuclear decommissioning projects, ongoing support to the UK’s operational nuclear power station portfolio and is well positioned to benefit from the renaissance in the nuclear industry following the government’s announcement that it would be looking to nuclear for the UK’s future power needs.
The company was founded in 2003 by existing chief executive Brett Cooper following the acquisitions of the Rolls Royce Nuclear Engineering Services business and the Special Purpose Equipment Division of the NNC (formerly the National Nuclear Corporation).
Mr Cooper, who will retain his position on the board, said: “This transaction underpins NESL’s overall growth and development strategy whilst delivering financial backing to realise our full potential within the market place. It brings a diversity of knowledge and experience to the board outside of our traditional arena whilst providing a platform for growth. We look forward to the financial and strategic support that [LDC’s] investment will bring to the business.”
LDC investment director Chris Hurley, who led the deal and will join the board along with colleague Alistair Pendleton, said: “LDC has a proven track record of investing within the industrial sector and we remain firmly committed to working with innovative engineering companies, especially those that continue to contribute to the Midlands’ manufacturing and industrial base.
“NESL is a high quality business and operates in a highly attractive market place which is forecast for continual growth.
“The business has strong barriers to entry and has positioned itself at the heart of the nuclear decommissioning programme at Sellafield – in our opinion, this solid position, together with an ambitious organic and acquisitive growth strategy, should mean that the business remains well-placed to exploit every possible opportunity to ensure future success.”
The transaction was completed by a leading team of Birmingham based professional advisers, with Simon Chapman and Andrew Mills at Baker Tilly, Birmingham acting as lead advisers. Andy Smith and Steve Taylor at Co-operative Bank provided senior debt, and advised by David Doogan at Martineau Johnson. With strong nuclear credentials, Paul Harkin and Ed Stead at Pinsent Masons acted as legal adviser to LDC and Newco. Paul Hayward and Tom Durrant at HBJ Gateley Wareing advised NESL’s management team. Graham Elsworth at BDO Stoy Hayward provided financial due diligence on the deal. Costi Karayannis at PMSI provided commercial due diligence.