Mid-market private equity firm LDC has completed the sale of Mini-Cam, which manufactures and distributes pipeline inspection systems, to Halma plc in a deal that values the business at up to £85m.
Headquartered in Warrington, Mini-Cam designs and builds robust modular pipeline inspection systems that are used across the water and wastewater industry, as well as by public authorities and companies in the oil and gas, petrochemical, nuclear, security, construction and engineering sectors.
LDC backed the management buyout of Mini-Cam in July 2015, providing additional funding to accelerate the firm’s international growth strategy.
Since then, LDC has helped managing director Nigel Wilson and his team to expand operations from one site to three, which includes establishing a new European R&D facility in Austria, developing and launching multiple new products and growing headcount from 37 employees to more than 50.
Mini-Cam has also enjoyed significant growth overseas, expanding into new markets such as Australia, Scandinavia and the US. Today, international sales account for more than 42% of turnover, up from 31% in 2015, and the business exports to customers in more than 40 countries worldwide.
It sees Mini-Cam join safety, health and environmental technology group Halma plc, within the group’s environmental & analysis sector. Listed on the London Stock Exchange, it has a portfolio of more than 50 specialist engineering businesses, employs more than 5,800 people and serves customers in more than 160 countries.
For the financial year ending April 2017, it recorded annual revenues of £961.7m. Mini-Cam will continue to operate under its current brand, with the management team remaining with the business to oversee future growth.
Chris Wright, investment director at LDC in Manchester, said: “Since we backed Mini-Cam just over two years ago, Nigel and his team have invested heavily in research and development and Mini-Cam is now one of the few UK-based pipeline inspection manufacturers that has successfully penetrated international markets. As part of the Halma group, the business will be able to build on these solid foundations and is strategically positioned to embark on the next phase of its international growth strategy. We wish Nigel and the team the best of luck on their journey.”
Nigel Wilson, managing director at Mini-Cam, added: “The strategic support and financial backing we’ve received from LDC throughout our partnership has helped us grow the business, both at home and overseas. With the team’s help, we have been able to continually invest in our operations, increasing production and service levels to meet the rising demand for innovative, high-tech inspection systems.
“Moving forward with the Halma group will ensure we’re well-placed to continue providing high-quality products to an expanding international customer base, as well as giving our employees further opportunities as part of a major International group.”
The deal marks the fourth transaction this year for LDC’s North West team. It follows the management buyout of Hill Biscuits, the £38m management buyout of Fishawack, the specialist provider of scientific communications service, and its multi-million-pound investment in ChargePoint Technology, the high growth manufacturer of specialist high containment and sterile transfer valves.