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LDC invests in Kick ICT to support UK expansion

LDC,the private equity investor, which is part of Lloyds Banking Group, has made a significant investment in Kick ICT, Scotland’s largest independent IT managed service provider, as it accelerates its UK-wide expansion plans. The transaction represents a successful exit for growth capital investor BGF which has backed Kick ICT since 2021.

Based in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire, Kick ICT provides business-critical IT managed, communications and digital transformation services to over 1,000 customers across a wide range of sectors. The company, which employs over 170 staff, specialises in business and finance solutions from Microsoft and Infor, alongside modern infrastructure, cloud and IT support.

Founded in 2015, Kick ICT has grown rapidly over the last eight years by executing an ambitious acquisitive growth strategy. In November 2023, it made its ninth acquisition – Dundee-based C2 Software Limited – to expand its specialist Microsoft Dynamics offering to customers across the UK.

LDC’s investment and support will help Kick ICT to accelerate its UK-wide growth through further acquisitions, targeting complementary businesses in Scotland and the North of England. The firm is backing Kick ICT’s existing management team, led by CEO Tom O’Hara and Group Sales Director Alan Turnbull, who each have more than 30 years’ industry experience. Geoff Neville will continue as Chairman.

The investment was led by LDC Investment Directors Lee Donaldson and Aaron Lawson-Clark and Investment Manager Emma Borrie.

Tom O’Hara, CEO of Kick ICT, said: “Our business has achieved exceptional growth over the last few years. We’ve continued to invest in our technology and people, and brought a number of exciting, innovative companies into the group to expand the range of services and levels of expertise that we provide to our customers. The team at LDC have a great deal of hands-on experience in helping businesses like ours to grow through acquisition, making them the perfect partner as we expand our presence in Scotland and across the UK.”

Lee Donaldson, Investment Director at LDC in Scotland, added: “The rapid pace of digitalisation across the economy means dynamic businesses like Kick ICT will be at the forefront of growth across the UK ICT sector in the years ahead. Tom and Alan are committed and ambitious founders, and we’re excited to support them, alongside the rest of the management team, as they continue their impressive run of acquisitions to drive growth and expand the business outside Scotland.”

LDC has a successful track record in the ICT sector, having made more than 20 investments into businesses with a total enterprise value of £1.4bn, since 2012.

Kick ICT was advised by Anderson Anderson & Brown (AAB) (Corporate Finance) and MBM Commercial (Legal).

LDC was advised by PWC (Corporate Finance and Tax), Pinsent Masons (Legal), BDO (Financial DD) and Armstrong (Commercial DD).