in brief

LDC is backing the MBO of ANSA and Independent Inspections Holdings from listed parent company Mavinwood in a transaction worth up to £19.55m. The transaction remains subject to Mavinwood plc shareholder approval. ANSA, based in Oldham, and Independent, which is based in Preston, are providers of claims validation, management and fulfilment services on behalf of the UK’s leading insurance companies. Customers include Direct Line, Norwich Union, Legal & General and Zurich Financial Services. LDC, the private equity division of the Lloyds Banking Group, is investing £11.6m in the new company and will hold a majority equity stake. The management team, led by Chief Executive Steve Watkins, will also become shareholders at completion. The deal was led by Jonathan Bell and Carl Wormald from LDC’s Manchester office. Subject to completion, Jonathan Bell, Investment Director at LDC, will take a seat on the new company’s board. Commenting on the investment, Steve Watkins, Chief Executive, said: “LDC’s investment reflects the confidence we both have in our future potential and, looking forward, their support will allow us to strengthen our market leading position, invest for future growth and continue to provide quality service for all our customers, existing and new.” Jonathan Bell, Investment Director at LDC, said: “Essentially, we are backing a first rate management team who have built two market leading businesses. We believe both companies are not only resilient to the challenging economy, but also well placed for future growth in their chosen markets through a continued focus on excellent customer service.” The proposed transaction is being supported by a £10.6m package of senior debt and working capital facilities from Yorkshire Bank. Recent investments by LDC in 2009 include Nuclear Engineering Services a niche engineering solutions group focusing on the nuclear, marine defence and other specialist industrial sectors; Cranswick Pet & Aquatics; Snell & Wilcox and ProBel – two providers of technology to the international broadcasting market; and Quantum Specials, one of the UK’s largest suppliers of tailor-made medicines to the pharmaceutical industry.

• The broking arm of Hyperion Insurance Group, Howden, has signed a deal to acquire Hendricks & Co GmbH, the specialist Directors and Officers (D&O) and Commercial Legal Expenses broker in Germany. This is Hyperion’s first major acquisition since 3i acquired a minority stake in the company in April 2008 and will further expand the Group’s international distribution network, which in the last 12 months has seen new offices open in Hong Kong, the Middle East and Latin America. Established in 1993 and with three offices in Germany, Hendricks has a market share of over 10%.

• Visual effects software developer, The Foundry, has announced a management buyout for an undisclosed sum led by Advent Venture Partners. Advent has backed the management team, led by CEO Dr Bill Collis and the original founders, in a transaction that sees the sale of the shareholdings of previous investors, Wyndcrest Holdings. Founded in 1996 The Foundry has a well-established client base that includes leading post production houses worldwide, such as Weta Digital in Wellington, New Zealand, Framestore in London, and Sony Imageworks in Los Angeles. The Foundry’s products support a wide range of host platforms including After Effects, Autodesk® Media and Entertainment Systems, Avid DS, Baselight, Film Master, Nuke, Scratch, Shake and Final Cut Pro. It is headquartered in London, and has offices in Los Angeles.