Solid Solutions, a reseller of 3D design software, has secured a minority investment from mid-market private equity investor LDC to accelerate organic growth. As part of the deal, Solid Solutions’ existing backer, BGF, will exit its minority stake.
Founded in 1998, Solid Solutions is the UK and Ireland’s leading reseller of SOLIDWORKS, the 3D computer aided design (CAD) package that is owned by Dassault Systems and used by more than five million people worldwide.
Solid Solutions provides software, support and training to thousands of engineers, designers and manufacturing companies across the UK and Ireland. This includes providing 3D CAD, computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) and product data management (PDM) software tools, as well as operating its 3D printer business, Solid Print 3D.
Its 15,000-strong UK and Irish customer base ranges from product designers, mechanical engineers and manufacturers, to entrepreneurs and educational institutions, and its software has supported a diverse range of projects. This includes being used by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) to design its latest vessel, the Shannon class, all-weather lifeboat, and by Denby to recreate hand thrown pottery. Other customers include Stannah Stairlifts, Oxford Space Systems and contact lens manufacturer Coopervision.
With headquarters in Leamington Spa, Solid Solutions operates from 23 offices across the UK and Ireland and employs more than 230 people. Under the leadership of founder and CEO Alan Sampson, CTO Simon Turner and CFO Kathy Sampson, the business has experienced strong year-on-year growth and now generates annual turnover in excess of £50million. It has also been recognised as one of the ‘75 best companies to work for’ in the Midlands by The Sunday Times for creating an engaging workplace.
Moving forward with LDC’s investment and support, the existing management team will embark on the next stage of its ambitious growth strategy to grow organically and explore complementary acquisitions. It will also look to roll-out new services and products, strengthening its position as the UK and Ireland’s leading SOLIDWORKS provider.
Alan Sampson, CEO of Solid Solutions, said: “We are experiencing growing demand for our services from a large, expanding customer base, many of whom have been with us for over 20 years. With the support of BGF over the last three years, we have been able to significantly grow our existing activities and acquire complementary businesses that are now core to the Solid Solutions family.
“LDC is the perfect partner to help us on the next stage of our journey. Their investment allows us to accelerate the growth plans for the business by increasing our scale, capacity and capability, enabling customers to benefit from an even wider product and service offering. Our focus is always centred on our partnership with customers. Continued investment in our own growth means we will remain agile and responsive when delivering the world-class service our customers have come to expect.”
The transaction was led by LDC’s Rob Schofield, Richard Whitwell and Lawrence Dean. Rob and Richard will join the board as Non-Executive Directors.