Mid-market private equity firm LDC has backed Rhino Products, a manufacturer of light commercial vehicle accessories, in a deal valued at £36m, to support its international growth strategy.
Headquartered in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, Rhino is a designer and manufacturer of premium external load carrying and restraint systems for light commercial vehicles. Its innovative products are designed to address health and safety concerns of major fleet owners as well as providing high quality and reliable products for SMEs. With two factories in the UK and further dedicated sites in The Netherlands, Poland and Sweden, Rhino is an internationally recognised brand, synonymous with innovation, quality and reliability.
The partnership with LDC will support Rhino’s management team to deliver its growth strategy through buy-and-build and further international expansion. LDC has committed to support Rhino with additional funding to further enhance its market share in the UK and internationally. Rhino has a strong track record of growth, having increased revenues by 60 per cent in the last three years.
LDC is backing the management team led by CEO and Co-Founder Steve Egerton. The business was founded in 1997 by Clive Boult, who subsequently teamed up with Steve in 2003. Since then Steve has led Rhino to become the leading business in its sector, establishing its footprint in Europe in 2013, and successfully integrating the acquisition of AVS Steps in 2017. At the start of this year, the business moved to a new state-of-the-art facility in Ellesmere Port in order to expand capacity for innovation and product development.
The investment was led by LDC’s John Clarke, Jacob Leone and Dale Alderson. John will join the board as a Non-Executive Director. As part of the deal, Gary Jacobson will also join the board as Non-Executive Chairman. Gary was formerly CEO of Middleton-headquartered Bifold Group, a manufacturer of instrument valves and pumps.
Steve Egerton, CEO of Rhino Products, said: “We are really pleased with the growth of the business over the last 17 years and proud of the brand and products we have developed. Opening our new facility in Ellesmere Port earlier this year was a key milestone for the business and it demonstrates our ambition to continue to grow internationally. Now we want to supercharge that growth and in LDC we have found a partner with a track record of doing just that.”
John Clarke, Investment Director at LDC in Manchester, said: “Steve and his ambitious team came to LDC with a clearly mapped out strategy to continue to grow the business. Rhino is already a well-established market leader with a strong brand and has real potential to increase market share in the UK and overseas. We’re looking forward to supporting the company’s next exciting period of growth.”
In the past two years, LDC has supported its portfolio companies to complete over 50 acquisitions with a combined enterprise value of more than £250m. LDC is currently supporting two thirds of existing portfolio businesses pursue an acquisitive growth strategy.
Banking facilities were provided by HSBC.
LDC was advised by Grant Thornton (Corporate Finance and Financial Due Diligence), Hill Dickinson (Legal), CIL (Commercial Due Diligence), KPMG (Tax) and GCA Altium (Debt Advisory).
Rhino Products was advised by GCA Altium (Corporate Finance) and DWF (Legal).