Media exit for LDC

LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds TSB, has made its fifth exit of 2003 with the sale of Spearhead Exhibitions to Reed Exhibitions, just 20 months after supporting the £10m buyout of the company in December 2001. The deal is a profitable exit for LDC, which enjoys a 36% return on the investment.

Spearhead Exhibitions, based in Surrey, UK, organises events in three main industry sectors; aerospace and defence, oil and gas and marine science and ocean technology. The acquisition by Reed represents a significant step forward in Reed’s strategy to grow its business and greatly enhances the company’s exhibition portfolio.

Mike Simmonds, investment director at LDC, co-ordinated both LDC’s investment in Spearhead Exhibitions and the exit. He said: “Spearhead is a classic example of our most favoured investments. The management team had successfully built the business over 20 years under different ownership prior to the MBO. We were able to assist the team in focussing on the key drivers of shareholder value and ultimately realise a tremendous result for all shareholders.”

LDC has made two investments so far this year; the £230m buyout of media company Vue Entertainment and the £28.5m buyout of support services company TSC. The group has also realised four other investments from its portfolio this year; Cash Bases, Christy Towels; Page & May and Emblem.