Clearwater International UK advises on the c.€23m sale of Mandata

Clearwater International UK has advised Synova Capital and members of the management team of Mandata, the market-leading provider of transport management software, on the c.€23m sale to private equity firm LDC.

Mandata designs and develops software that allows road transport operators to manage workflow and data more effectively. Its transport management system integrates a suite of end-to-end products, including traffic planning and management, tracking, telematics, and invoicing. Used by hauliers across the UK, Mandata helps customers to improve productivity, deliver efficiency savings, and improve real-time visibility of their operations.

Following Synova’s investment in 2013, Mandata has successfully invested in its people, operations and software solutions to allow the business to grow rapidly. Recent innovations have extended functionality into mobile technology platforms including electronic proof of delivery, and a completely new cloud transport management system which is available to smaller hauliers, who can also benefit from the wider technology suite through TMS Go!

Under the leadership of CEO Mark Norcliffe, Mandata has grown rapidly. Today it supports many of the UK’s haulage businesses including 30% of Motor Transport’s top 100 operators, actively managing over 10,000 vehicles, and employs 60 people at its offices in Cramlington and Leeds.

With LDC’s support, Mark and his team will embark on the next stage of their ambitious growth strategy, underpinned by continued investment in product and proposition development, and further investment in its market-leading team.

The Clearwater International team was led by Partner Carl Houghton, with support from Directors Emma Rodgers and Wesley Fell-Smith, and Associates Zack Goddard and Kirsten Handley. Partner Mark Taylor, Director Tom Barnwell and Associate Director David Grassby provided Debt Advisory support to LDC.

Mark Norcliffe, CEO, Mandata said: “Businesses across the transport and logistics sector are continually looking for new ways to reduce costs, drive efficiencies and improve productivity. By developing innovative software solutions, we’re helping to streamline activity and deliver results that have a tangible impact on our customers’ bottom line.

“We’ve made significant progress in recent years and are now at a key point in our growth journey. We’re an ambitious business and by partnering with LDC we not only have the financial support to help us turbocharge growth, but a strategic partner that brings a track record of supporting high-growth technology businesses, has an on-the-ground presence in the North and an in-depth knowledge of our sector.”

Speaking of Clearwater International’s involvement in the deal, Mark said, “The Clearwater International team held our hands through the process and were invaluable throughout from the earliest days of evaluating the proposition right through to completion. I cannot recommend them highly enough. Their insight and knowledge of our market combined with a deep understanding of the tech market enables them to drive value and get the right deal for all the stakeholders.”

Alex Bowden, Partner of Synova and Director of Mandata, commented: “Mandata has been a great success story for Synova. Having recognised an underdeveloped opportunity, we worked closely with the management team to develop Mandata into the market leading software provider to the haulage and logistics sector.  With high levels of recurring revenue, strong client relationships and exciting new products, Mandata is well placed to continue its growth. We would like to thank Mark and all the staff for their hard work and dedication and wish them well on the next stage of Mandata’s development.”

Wesley Fell-Smith, Director, Clearwater International added: “Mandata has made substantial progress with the support of Synova. Mandata’s outstanding management team, and product suite are an excellent platform for future growth in a market where increasing compliance, cost pressures and supply chain complexity mean that adopting a fully integrated, specialist solution is no longer just a competitive advantage – it’s an operational imperative for hauliers. We wish Mark and the team well and look forward to continuing our relationship with them.”