Clearwater International UK advises Eque2 on its MBO backed by LDC

Clearwater International UK has advised the shareholders of Eque2, construction, contracting and housebuilding software specialist, on its MBO backed by mid-market private equity investor LDC, providing an exit for fellow private equity firm Livingbridge. Clearwater’s Debt Advisory team also raised debt finance from Yorkshire Bank to support LDC’s investment.

Eque2 supplies business management software to more than 1,400 customers in the construction, housebuilding and contracting industries. Its software enables builders, contractors, architects, engineers and estimators to integrate the commercial and financial aspects of their business, driving efficiencies and ultimately improving profitability.

LDC’s investment into Eque2 will be used to accelerate the company’s growth strategy and buy-and-build programme, along with funding the simultaneous acquisition of the Miracle Dynamics Payroll and HR Solution, expanding Eque2’s current offering.

In addition to the targeted buy-and-build strategy, the deal will enable further investment into the company’s product portfolio in order to further support its client base. It also provides an exit for Livingbridge, which has backed the business since it was acquired from Sage Group plc in 2013.

LDC’s Investment Director John Clarke and head of LDC in the North West Jonathan Bell will join the board as non-executive Directors alongside Richard Vincent. Vincent has more than 17 years’ experience of supporting the growth of software businesses and in 2016 led the sale of Nottingham-based Union Square to US software giant Deltek, a deal also advised by Clearwater International.

The Clearwater International team was led by Partner Carl Houghton, with support from Directors Emma Rodgers and Wesley Fell-Smith and Associate Kirsten Handley. Partner Mark Taylor, Associate Director Lachlan Dorrity and Associate Mark Ward provided Debt Advisory support to LDC.

“We have achieved significant growth over the last four years, but in order for us to maintain a market leading position it is vital we expand our offering further and capitalise on opportunities in different markets. With the financial firepower and support of LDC we’re confident that we can establish ourselves as the construction industry’s leading provider of specialist business management software and the Miracle Dynamics acquisition is an exciting first step on this journey.”

Richard Beaton, Chairman, Eque2

“Eque2 has become the leader in its field by offering exceptional solutions, the highest service standards and having an unwavering commitment to addressing the needs of its customers. For us, however, the deal is not just about the strength of the business and the market opportunity, but partnering with and supporting the management team to achieve their growth strategy.”

John Clarke, Investment Director, LDC

“This is our seventeenth technology deal in this vertical which has given us a deep understanding of the technology needs of the industry. We have a long standing relationship with Eque2 and this is our tenth deal with the chairman, Richard Beaton, so we are doubly delighted to see Eque2 into its next phase of growth.”

Carl Houghton, Partner, Clearwater International