LDC, the leading mid-market private-equity investor, has strengthened its south team based in Reading, with a new director and investment manager. The appointments of Chris Wright and Chris Morris create a seven-strong investment team in Reading, part of LDC’s 50-strong national team, driving the pledge to invest £1.2 billion of equity nationwide into small and mid-sized companies over the next three years.
With more than 16 years’ experience, Wright joins as a director from LDC in the North West, where he started as an investment director in 2013. During that time he has been involved in a number of successful investments including ChargePoint, Mini-Cam, Stroma, Synexus and ATG Access. Over the past two years he has been instrumental in the exits of both Mini-Cam and Synexus to international trade buyers which both generated strong returns.
Morris joins as an investment manager from Lloyds Banking Group, where he was associate director in the acquisition finance team for four years, supporting mid-market private equity buyouts, recapitalisations and acquisitions. Prior to this, he worked in the equity investments team within Lloyds’ Business Support Unit.
Both will be responsible for identifying investment opportunities, leading transactions and supporting LDC’s portfolio of companies, which includes cloud communications specialist IP Solutions, hair and beauty brand Rush, and field service logistics and technology provider ByBox.
Yann Souillard, head of LDC in London and the South, said: “Both Chris Wright and Chris Morris have strong and proven track records supporting businesses in the mid-market and developing excellent relationships with the advisory and business community. We have committed to investing £1.2bn across the UK over the next three years, so it’s essential for us to be equipped with the right talent. Both hires will play an important role in driving business growth across the South, as well as continuing to enhance value from within our portfolio.”
Wright added: “LDC’s team in Reading is renowned for its success working with management teams to drive significant value. With LDC’s appetite and capital to continue to invest in firms across the South, it’s an exciting time to join the team here. I’m looking forward to meeting ambitious businesses and advisors from across the region who we can work with over the coming years.”
Since its launch in 2000, LDC’s Reading office has completed more than 60 investments and deployed more than £550 million equity across a wide range of sectors from manufacturing and technology to retail and support services.
In 2017, the team backed the management buyout of specialist communications technology provider IP Solutions, and the investment in leading hair and beauty brand Rush. The team also completed the successful exit of automotive data specialist Clifford Thames to OEConnection Holdings, the US-based e-commerce technology group, and the sale of global electronic testing group Microlease to US-based Electro Rent Corporation following a ten-year partnership.
The team was recognised at the Thames Valley Deals Awards, winning four awards including Private Equity Firm of the Year.