PHD Equity Partners (“PHD” or the “Fund”) has sold Liberty Services (“Liberty”) to Capita plc. Croydon based Liberty has evolved as a key print solutions provider to both public authorities and private sector businesses, supporting the issuing, management and collection of Penalty Charge Notices (“PCNs”) in the parking enforcement sector.
The sale of Liberty, the first investment by PHD’s maiden equity fund, has delivered a money multiple of 9.2x and a five year IRR of 70.4%.
PHD invested in Liberty in 2008 backing a management team led by Gavin Reddin and Sean O’Riordan to take advantage of growth opportunities in the parking and traffic enforcement market.
Since PHD’s investment, Liberty has grown sales from £6.9m to £10.5m and has delivered a fivefold increase in EBITDA. The business is well placed to continue this impressive record and build on its almost 70 year history.
Philip Price, the PHD partner who sat on the board at Liberty, comments: “We have worked very closely with Gavin Reddin, Sean O’Riordan and their team to transform Liberty over the last 5 years and achieved significant growth. Under our guidance, and with impressive leadership by the management team, we have been able to strengthen the business proposition, deliver growth and facilitate a successful exit. I am extremely proud to be associated with Liberty and delighted that the team’s hard work has resulted in such a positive outcome.”
Gavin Reddin, Chairman of Liberty, comments: “When PHD first invested in Liberty we were in some need of new ideas. Though profitable and experts in our niche market, we operated in tired premises, needed new blood in the team and a thorough updating of our management information systems. With the guidance from PHD we have since developed into one of the leading operators in the parking enforcement sector. The partnership with PHD together with the support and enthusiasm of Philip Price has been invaluable and we now look forward to the next phase for the company with Capita and its continuing growth trajectory.”
James Dow, Chief Executive of PHD, comments: “In raising our first fund and making our first investments in 2008 it would have been easy for others to predict its early demise. Well it hasn’t quite worked out that way. Our self-belief has been justified and the sale of Liberty at a 9.2x money multiple represents the first realisation of a star performer in our inaugural fund. We are extremely confident in the prospects of our remaining portfolio and believe PHD Equity Partners Fund No 1 will prove to be one of the stand out performers of the class of 2008.”