After backing more than 100 businesses over the past two decades, our team often gets asked the same question: “What’s a typical Livingbridge deal?” As a flexible investor, it can be hard to define.
It’s certainly true that we look for some key features in all the businesses in which we invest. We’re excited by businesses capable of growing rapidly in large markets, often because they’re doing something specialist or disruptive, or coming at the market from a different angle. We look for someone to back – that might be the founder of the business, say, or a management team.
As for the deal itself, those come in all shapes and sizes:
Buyouts and replacement capital
From buying a business outright, to backing an MBO, to taking a stake – we’re flexible investors and we can do all sorts of deals. Much will depend on what the management team are looking for. For many founders, replacement capital provides liquidity as we work together to grow their business, and we have backed over 50 of these types of deals in the past.
Some of our recent deals:
MBO: Armstrong Craven, Stowe Family Law
Secondary buyout: Broadstone, Giacom, M247
Replacement capital: Mobysoft, Exclaimer and Direct Ferries.
Minority and majority stakes
Our focus is on building a strong relationship with the management team of the business, helping them to achieve their ambitions and fulfil the company’s potential; we’re less interested in whether the best way to do that is by taking a minority or a majority stake and we’ve happily done both in the past. For example, we invested in minority stakes of Reed & Mackay and Kingsbridge and we invested in a majority stake of M247.
Different cheque sizes
We invest through two different funds in businesses with an EV of up to £200m.
- Livingbridge Enterprise invests in companies with an EV of up to £50m. We have a track record of over 50 investments in this space including Key Travel, Bistrot Pierre and Kingsbridge.
- Livingbridge Mid-market invests in companies with an EV from £50m to £200m. Examples include Exclaimer and M247.
But we want to be able to provide more value than just capital to our investees. The support we offer businesses after the deal completes varies from company to company; we don’t apply a one-size-fits-all approach to the businesses we back, because they’re all different.
What does this support mean in practice? It can come from our talent team helping investees find world class senior hires; or perhaps from our team of experts in customer acquisition who work very closely with our portfolio businesses, using data and analytics tools to understand their markets in granular detail – where the customers are, which channels represent the best opportunities to acquire more of those customers, and how to exploit such opportunities; or our insight team that can help identify and approach acquisition targets for businesses looking to pursue a buy and build strategy. This support is truly global, and through our international offices in Australia and the US, and our global network of PE partners, we are well placed to supercharge international growth.
In the end, it’s the work we do together with management teams that is the biggest single factor in the returns on investment for everyone involved. We’re deal agnostic, but passionate about value, ambition and growth.
If you know a business interested in discussing their next stage of growth please contact firstname.lastname@example.org