Amberon accelerates growth with LDC backing
- Green light for £25m growth investment at traffic management firm
- National rollout and acquisition plans outlined
- Deal marks 75th completed transaction for BCMS in SW England
- Amberon named Regional Company of the Year at Insiders’ South West Dealmaker Awards 2018
As part of its investment, LDC will take a significant stake in the fast-growing company alongside the current management team – led by Managing Director Terry Musson and Commercial Director Daniel East – while enabling its founder shareholders to exit the business.
Headquartered in Paignton, Devon, Amberon has grown from a small traffic light rental company to a specialist traffic management services provider with 18 depots, a 350 vehicle fleet and almost 500 people.
Its services span a wide range of safety solutions to support planned and emergency repairs, from traffic lights, signage and convoy working to variable message signs and CCTV. Projects range from road closures on low-speed, urban and rural sites to complex, high-speed contraflow schemes on dual carriageways and motorways.
The business, which works with major infrastructure contractors as well as local authorities and utility companies, generated record sales of £26million in its last financial year.
Working with LDC, the management team plans to accelerate its growth outside its South West of England and Wales heartland by opening further depots to service work in the Midlands, North West, South East and East, as well as launching new complementary services.
Amberon said it would also explore potential acquisitions as part of its bid to secure a greater share of the market.
Alongside LDC’s investment, David Garman, former Chief Executive of logistics giant TDG plc and Non-Executive Director of Speedy Hire, will join the board as Chairman, as well as LDC’s Alistair Pendleton and Simon Hemley.
Guy Rutherford, formerly Finance Director at fuel distributor Watson Fuels, is also joining the board as Financial Director.
Terry Musson, Managing Director of Amberon, said: “This is an important moment for the company. We’ve always had an ambition to continue to scale the business and provide greater geographical reach for our clients. Bringing LDC on board gives us the capital and confidence to continue our journey and build on the hard work over the last decade that has made Amberon such a reliable partner in the sector.
“The new board appointments also bring a wealth of relevant expertise from people who’ve led similar types of depot-based, large fleet businesses which will be invaluable as we expand our network and launch new complementary services to support our customers. They also complement our existing senior team of Steve Jones, Ryan Harris and Dane Lacey.”
Alistair Pendleton, Director of LDC and Head of South West & Wales, said: “Terry and Dan have driven exceptional growth over the last 10 years thanks to a commitment to quality of service and excellence in health and safety, which has been the trademark of Amberon’s success. This reputation, combined with a newly strengthened board, a well-invested depot network and positive market dynamics, provides the perfect platform for growth.”
He added: “Amberon is a classic example of the type of company LDC is keen to back in the South West and Wales as we look to invest £1.2bn of equity nationally over the next three years.”
Bank funding was provided by HSBC in Bristol, which was advised by Osborne Clarke.
LDC was advised by Deloitte, Burges Salmon, Ernst & Young, Hullbrook, Prelude, Intuitus, Newton, Virtus and JLT. The management team was advised by Deloitte and Blake Morgan, while the vendors were advised by M&A advisory firm BCMS and Boyce Hatton.
BCMS Lead Advisor Andy Denny said: “We’re pleased to have advised on a transaction that supports jobs growth in Devon, while also allowing the shareholders to move on. We have worked with LDC many times before, and have no doubt they will prove to be a great partner for Amberon as it grows into a national champion.
“We would also like to thank interim Finance Director Richard Tredwin of Kelston Consultancy for his excellent work in preparing for and Managing Due Diligence and Disclosure as well as working closely with us and Boyce Hatton to finalise the completion mechanics.”