Vista Retail secures £14m backing from LDC


This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: Vista Retail secures £14m backing from LDC.

Vista Retail Support (Vista), the independent IT services company, has secured a £14m investment from mid-market private equity firm LDC to accelerate its growth and fund new acquisitions. The deal values the business at almost £30m.

Headquartered in Cardiff, Vista employs its unmatched expertise and customer service to provide specialist support to some of the biggest names in retail, hospitality and leisure in the UK and Europe, enabling innovation in cutting-edge payment technologies, robotics, virtual reality applications and artificial intelligence.

The business installs, manages and maintains in-store technology for many of the UK's leading brands, including Lloyds Pharmacy, Monsoon, Odeon Cinemas and Pets at Home, helping to maintain critical infrastructure and high levels of customer service.

Vista, which was founded just over 10 years ago, generated sales of almost £18m in its last financial year (2016). From its Welsh base, it now operates across the UK, employing more than 200 people, including 120 field service engineers.

With its total market opportunity growing due to the increase in technology in retail estates, the investment will support Vista's ongoing growth strategy, both at home and abroad. This may include funding potential acquisitions and helping the business expand into new sectors.

The deal, which enables the firm's existing backers WestBridge Capital and Octopus Investments to exit their investment, will see LDC take a significant stake in the business, while the management team will increase its shareholding.

Investment Directors Dewi Hughes and Pete Latham join the board, alongside the existing management team. Mark Molyneux will join the board as Chairman and Kath Roach will join the board as Non-Executive Director.

Richard Cottrell, Managing Director of Vista Retail Support, said: "We have established ourselves as the go-to partner for IT and technology support in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, but we want to extend our reach further and continue to grow both organically and through strategic acquisitions.

"From the outset, LDC understood the ethos of the business, which is centred on providing outstanding customer service to our clients. This made them a natural growth partner for us. Having LDC on board will give us the additional expertise and firepower needed to develop the business and capitalise on market opportunities to significantly increase our operations and scale."

Dewi Hughes, Head of LDC Cardiff, said: "Vista is an impressive business with a highly capable management team, a proven, scalable model and a strong market presence across the UK. We'll be working closely with the team to pursue organic and acquisition-led growth opportunities to help deliver the business' long-term ambition".

"Vista has demonstrated the drive we look for when partnering with a business and it is a great example of the quality of firms headquartered in Wales that have a UK and international reach. To be able to back and support businesses like this is exactly we why wanted to establish an on-the-ground presence in Wales."

LDC was advised by Deloitte, Blake Morgan, Hullbrook and Alvarez and Marsal.

Financial advisers to WestBridge were PricewaterhouseCoopers while Capital Law provided legal advice.

The Management Team were advised by Deloitte and Hugh James.

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