A-Gas is set to execute a rapid expansion strategy in the UK and internationally after securing a significant investment from leading mid-market private equity firm LDC, in a deal worth £70 million.
The global blender, re-packager and distributor of specialist gases and chemicals to the refrigeration and insulation foam industries employs over 120 people and is a leader in its principal territories of the UK, Australia and South Africa and also has a growing presence in Asia Pacific and North America, providing a global platform with growth potential in all markets.
The LDC investment represents a significant stake in the business, with debt funding provided by HSBC, The Royal Bank of Scotland PLC (RBS) and the Acquisition Finance division of Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets. As a result of the transaction, Growth Capital Partners will exit the business.
Working closely with management, LDC will execute an expansion strategy to increase the group's global footprint by expanding its business in Asia Pacific and the Americas, and supporting the potential acquisition of complementary businesses.
John Rutley, executive chairman of A-Gas, commented: 'We hold a leading position in the specialty gases market, with environmental initiatives such as the Montreal and Kyoto Protocols continuing to drive the market for our products, services and expertise.
'In LDC we have secured the financial and strategic backing of an investor which has a strong track record of supporting sustainable businesses, not only in the UK but also internationally. There will be opportunities for LDC to add significant value through its Hong Kong office and contacts as we continue to explore ways of increasing sales in Asia.'
The transaction was led by investment directors Ian Podmore and Peter Latham of LDC. Ian Podmore and Darryl Eales, CEO of LDC, will join A-Gas' board. Ian Podmore said: 'We are backing an exceptional and experienced management team in a rapidly expanding business which has a highly defensible position in each of its core markets.'