LDC backs the management team at Stroma, a provider of regulatory driven compliance services

LDC has backed the management buyout of Stroma, the UK’s leading provider of regulatory driven compliance services and software applications to the energy and operational efficiency markets.

LDC’s investment will enable the company to both capitalise on ever tightening regulatory requirements and also introduce new software apps which will markedly improve customers’ operating efficiency.

Based in Castleford, Stroma was established in 2002 by Matt Ferguson, Rob Coxon and Steve Turner. The business now employs over 200 people, including over 40 software developers, across two divisions; Stroma Certification, the UK’s leading provider of training, accreditation and associated software apps used throughout the UK energy assessment market; and Stroma Technology, a specialist provider of regulatory driven consultancy services relating to both the improvement of a building’s energy efficiency and its wider performance as part of the working environment.

Stroma holds leading positions across each market in which it operates, serving a diverse base of over 4,000 clients, including organisations from SMEs to major utility firms.

Stroma Certification operates a number of Government-approved accreditation schemes for energy assessors and installers across domestic and commercial properties and supports this mobile field force with a variety of software apps which assist regulatory compliance and drive high operating efficiencies. Its main software app, RSAP+, is used to submit over 100,000 energy related assessments each month and has a dominant market share in the UK. Stroma Certification has a number of exciting new apps in development which are proven to drive further operating efficiencies for its customers and affinity partners.
The deal was led by LDC Investment Directors Simon Braham and Chris Wright. Braham commented: “Since launching Stroma in 2002, Matt Ferguson and his team have very successfully driven the evolution of the business from a technical consultancy to a software-led certification provider to the UK energy efficiency industry. Stroma is widely recognised as a high quality training provider that has developed leading software apps that reduce the complexity of reporting and compliance requirements for its users. Stroma’s services and additional apps are expected to be in strong demand reflecting the management and in-house software development team’s deep understanding of the European regulatory and compliance environment which enables them to offer apps, training and services which drive high operational ROI for its customers.”

Matt Ferguson, Co-founder of Stroma and Managing Director of Stroma Certification, said: “After a decade of developing Stroma and establishing our leading position in the market, it is the ideal time to bring in an experienced investment partner. The team at LDC not only offers significant financial support, but also experience that will help us drive further growth in the future and especially as we bring our new software apps to market.”

RBS provided the debt finance in support of the transaction. Altium and DWF advised the vendors whilst Clearwater and Addleshaw Goddard advised LDC. Dow Schofield Watts Transaction Services team provided financial due diligence on the deal.

The deal represents LDC’s second investment in the North of England this year, having backed Warrington-based procurement services business CEL Procurement in March 2014. It is also further evidence of LDC’s strong expertise in the technology and energy management sectors, with previous investments including mobile software business Kirona and energy management business Matrix, which was sold to E.ON Connecting Energies in September 2013.

Nationally, this deal brings LDC’s new investment to over £100m with a further £30m supporting the growth plans of existing portfolio businesses.

LDC is targeting to invest up to £500m of new equity in 2014 to back ambitious, driven management teams to realise the growth potential of leading British businesses across a broad range of sectors. This follows new equity investment of over £400m in 2013 in addition to over £100m of additional equity investment provided to its existing investments to support their growth plans.

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