Reflections - LDC

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Reflections - LDC

INTRODUCTIONCommitment CountsWelcome to the latest edition of Reflections - a digest of news andcommentary from LDC’s people, portfolio and communities.It seems incredible that LDC is about toenter its 30th year. During this periodthe private equity industry has shownitself to be resilient, innovative andadaptable and has reinvented itselfseveral times.During this rollercoaster ride for mostUK companies, I believe LDC has beena consistent supporter of and partner tomany UK businesses and an increasinglyimportant player in the provision of equityto the UK mid-market.Over the last two years - a periodcharacterised by dramatically reducedbusiness confidence, private equity investmentand financial liquidity - LDC has continued toadopt a long term prudent approach which isunderpinned by our conviction that investingthrough the cycle is the most appropriate andreturn enhancing investment strategy. Wehave invested in excess of £500million in thepast 24 months, across both new business andsupporting the growth of our existing portfoliocompanies. This both demonstrates our beliefin the strength of the SME sector and thehuge advantage our regional networkprovides for us.We were delighted to be awarded the Mid-Market Buyout House of the Year at the recent2010 British Private Equity Awards. I think thisis deserved recognition for the commitmentand dedication of the LDC team and all of themanagement teams and companies who wehave supported.The reports on the retail and consumer goods(pages 9-10) and TMT (pages 13-14) sectorsprovide just a few examples of companies thatare not only surviving but thriving as a result ofthis through the cycle commitment.We are also continuing to invest in our ownbusiness as part of our drive for continuousimprovement and desire to find ways inwhich can add more value to our portfoliocompanies. From operational improvementand strategic direction by our ValueEnhancement Group, to opportunities todo business within the portfolio and withour parent from our Partnerships Team,there are some fantastic examples ofcollaboration success.“Consistent investmentAn increasingly combined important with focused aspect of this andsupport rigorous is our expanding portfolio international supportpresence, – that where has the team enabled is helping us investee tobusinesses achieve here capitalise some outstandingon supply chainand trading realisations opportunities in over China the and India(pages X - X). past year”It is this model - of consistent investmentcombined with focused and rigorous portfoliosupport - that has enabled us to achieve asuccession of outstanding exits over the pastyear. These are highlighted in more detail onpages 5-8. This is testimony to our perhaps oldfashioned approach of supporting high qualitymanagement teams and sticking to investmentfundamentals.We were also delighted to see six of ourportfolio companies recognised in the BVCA’sPortfolio Company Management Awards thisyear - again, deserved reward for the qualityof management teams that we support andtheir ability to drive outperformance.This commitment to get involved and supportour local communities is equally evident inother areas of LDC life and I am delightedthat our LDC in the Community initiativesare covered (pages 17-20). For more onthe success of our aspiring Olympians in theCommonwealth Games - and a run down ofour charitable activities which has raised inexcess of £300,000 this year read on!I hope you enjoy hearing more about the lifeand times of LDC over the following pages.I think they provide an accurate picture of thecommitment across LDC to business successand to the communities in which we operate.Darryl EalesChief ExecutiveLDCWINTER 20104


GROWTH BY NUMBERSMany commentators used the onset of the financialcollapse of late 2008 to herald the death of privateequity as a model for growth. For an industry that hadachieved its returns based on the use of complex financialstructures and over-leveraging, surely the sudden capitalrestrictions experienced by the banking community – andthe consequent lack of leveraged debt – would seriouslychallenge the viability of private equity as an asset class.RIGHT? WRONG“It is easy to pigeon-hole the private equity community as agroup of firms investing in large deals using lots of debt - theindustry is far more diverse than that,” says Nicholas Neveling,mid-market reporter at respected trade magazine Real DealsNowhere is this more evident than the sector’s mid-market,where countless established companies are using equityfunding to unlock their potential.While buyout volumes at the larger end of the markethave remained subdued in comparison to pre-Lehmanlevels, activity in this area – particularly in the £10million -£250million segment – has continued, albeit at a lowerlevel than previous highs.SUCCESS STORIESIt is here, amongst Britain’s small and medium sizedcompanies (SME), that some of the sector’s mostimpressive success stories are being written.“Throughout the financial crisis there have been a numberof mid-market private equity houses that have continued toback small and medium sized companies, providing themwithinvaluable financial support and expertise during avery difficult time.“Some of the criticism of private equity has been justified,but it is important to recognise that the industry has alsomade a significant contribution to the success of hundredsof companies.”Perhaps what is often unseen by industry spectators, is the‘behind the scenes’ support by the private equity partner –operational enhancement, investment in infrastructure, businessre-positioning, talent development, strategic acquisition.5 REFLECTIONS


OVERVIEWCASE STUDYIn a US$110million transatlantic deal, LDC sold a stake inCable Management Group (‘CMG’), the UK market leaderin the design, manufacture and supply of specialist flexibleconduit systems used in the protection of critical power anddata cables, to NYSE quoted Thomas & Betts Corporationin October 2010.Operating through three of the industry’s leading brands; Adaptaflex, Kopexand Harnessflex, Coleshill-based CMG has a strong position within key verticalmarkets including industrial OEM, construction/infrastructure, petrochemicaland transportation.Martin Draper, Managing Director of LDCin the Midlands, picks up the thread. “For ahands-on investor like LDC, this is the day job:working alongside management teams toidentify and implement the strategies that willdeliver sustainable growth, and optimise thebusiness’ attractiveness at exit.”“That relationship factor is the key to agood private equity transaction andfundamental platform upon which growthcan be delivered.”Over the last five years, LDC for one hasdeveloped its proposition in this respect,investing in its operational and industryexpertise through its Value EnhancementGroup and its international team (see ourfeature on pages 15-16) as a means ofdriving efficiency and profitability amongstits portfolio companies.John Swarbrick, who led LDC’s exit fromgreeting cards retailer Card Factory earlierthis year, agrees. “You can’t deliver marketbeatinggrowth by simply reducing your costbase. Private equity has to do a lot more thanthat and achieving the right result is basedon investment in the business – in people,in product, in infrastructure – to shape abusiness with the scale and quality toattract the right buyer.”And the proof is certainly in the pudding. Thisyear alone, LDC has realised its investmentsin eight of its portfolio companies, generatingproceeds of over £650million.Having enjoyed substantial organic sales and profit growth since LDC’s investment in2007, the teams worked closely in partnership to implement a strategic plan focusedon product innovation, operational improvement, as well as driving internationalexpansion in the US, Europe, Australia and fast emerging economies in the MiddleEast, South America and Asia.ADDING VALUE• Re-aligned operating structure around core conduit systems• Improved and rationalised international supply chainenhancing competitiveness• New product introductions and international sales expansion• A key role in delivering a strategic exit process• Appointed a high quality non-executive chairmanDUNCAN McKINLAY,CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF CMG COMMENTED:“The support and strategic input that we received from LDC was invaluable.A close working relationship was established at the time of the MBO andthe business has benefitted significantly from their help in delivering ourstrategic objectives. The Midlands’ team has extensive experience ofworking with businesses operating within specialist manufacturing andengineering and this certainly helped us to deliver on and fully establishour new products within the market.”FOR MORE EXAMPLES OF LDC’S EXITS,GO TO WWW.LDC.CO.UK/PORTFOLIOWINTER 20106


GROWTH BY NUMBERSCASE STUDYCASE STUDYCASE STUDYCASE STUDYOVERVIEWIn September 2010, LDC sold its stakein Northampton-based Vision SecurityGroup (‘VSG’) one of the UK’sleading suppliers of security services,in a £64million deal with FTSE 100listed Compass Group plc.Since LDC’s original investment in 2007, VSG outperformedagainst its competitors and delivered substantial sales andprofit growth, with turnover increasing by more than 50% to£140million and employee numbers rising from less than4000 to nearly 6000.Supporting VSG’s management team in achieving organicand acquisitive growth – particularly throughout the acquisitionof two electronic security providers, as well as developingtheir ancillary services, opening additional branches andhelping to develop a clear management succession plan,was instrumental in enhancing VSG’s performance andgenerating scale in the business.OVERVIEWIn October 2010, LDC sold a stake inOmega Red, the UK market leader inlightning protection and electricalearthing systems to leading utilityservices company South Staffordshire Plc.Employing more than 220 people acrossfive sites within the UK, Omega Red operates withinkey vertical markets including rail, power, construction,renewable energy and telecoms.The business achieved organic sales and profit growth sincethe LDC investment in March 2008; with turnover increasingfrom £13.5million to £16million in less than three years, whileEBITDA grew from £2.6million to more than £4million. Workingin partnership with the management team, LDC implementeda strategic plan to increase market penetration.ADDING VALUE• Delivered organic and acquisitive growth• Supported the acquisition of two electronic security providers• Strategically developed ancillary services and openedadditional branches• Helped position the business to win a circa £20million salescontract with Lloyds Banking Group• Appointed a high quality Non-Executive ChairmanADDING VALUE• Organic sales growth from exploiting changes to theBritish Standard for Lightning Protection• Improved quality of earnings through increasing recurringrevenue from testing and maintenance services• Professionalised sales function• Developed clear management succession plan• Appointed a high quality non-executive chairman• Implemented solid management succession planKEITH FRANCIS, MANAGING DIRECTOROF VSG COMMENTED:“We enjoyed good working relationships with theLDC team - their support was excellent and the inputthat they had into the business undoubtedly ensuredthat VSG was well positioned to progress further tothe next level of development.”COLIN McELHONE, MANAGINGDIRECTOR OF OMEGA RED COMMENTED:“The financial and strategic support that we receivedfrom LDC was invaluable and really helped us toaccelerate organic growth within our core markets.By actively improving our customer relationsmanagement, we strengthened our market leadingposition and successfully increased our customer base.”7 REFLECTIONS


Similarly, the ‘right result’ is also aboutidentifying the right exit route for business,rather than the best price on the table.Martin Draper again: “We might hold abusiness for three to five years, whichcreates enduring relationships. The lastthing you want to do is undermine that byforcing a sale through that the managementteam doesn’t agree with.”ENDURING APPEALFar from calling time on private equity, theturbulence of the financial markets over the lasttwo years has instead brought into focus theneed for private equity to ‘get back to basics’.“Our recent successes with VSG, CMG andOmega Red really reflect our track record inidentifying companies which have profitablegrowth potential,” says Martin.2010 EXITS“These exits exemplify why old fashionedprivate equity really does work for SMEs. Theyare each great examples of how the asset classis successful from both a business growth andwealth creation perspective; and the core ofthis approach revolves around the relationshipbetween a knowledgeable private equitypartner and a high quality management team.“For someone like LDC who’s been doing itthis way for almost 30 years, it seems themost logical approach to driving success.”TRADE SALETRADE SALEFor more examplesof LDC’s exits, go towww.ldc.co.uk/portfolioTRADE SALETRADE SALESECONDARYTRADE SALEIBO(PARTIAL)WINTER 20108


pedigree for quality, while at the same timeworking hard behind the scenes to mitigatemanufacturing cost increases to help us protectour pricing. That’s what our retail partners wantto see from their suppliers and it’s hard to seethe dynamic shifting over the next few years.“That means getting your supply chainspot on.”These principles have certainly been amongstthe value drivers in other consumer goodscompanies within LDC’s portfolio, includingluxury beauty brand St Tropez, which wassuccessfully sold to PZ Cussons earlier this year.NEW RETAIL HORIZONSo what does the next year looklike for British retail?Philip Dorgan, retail analyst at investmentbank Altium Capital, cautions against the kindof over-simplistic, sweeping generalisationsthat are often made of the sector’s likelyperformance, suggesting instead that it is themanagement team’s performance that trulydetermines success or failure.“The golden rule is there is no golden rule,”says Philip. “Yes, distinctive brands with greatonline presence will be in a strong position.But every retailer is different – and the next 12months will create winners and losers just likethe last 12 months have.“A lot of the sector’s casualties in the last fewyears were companies that had been proppedup by a relatively benign economy, and whenthe climate turned chilly they caught a cold.The same will be true as we look ahead, withthe twin spectres of weak spending and risingcosts working their way through the sector andkilling the least able.“In retail,” continues Philip “the real key isthe management team’s ability to respond tothe threat: not the nature of the threat itself.Basically, it’s about management teams doingtheir day jobs correctly – spotting problemsand fixing them quickly, and before theircompetitors do.”To view LDC’s retailand consumer goodsportfolio, go towww.ldc.co.uk/portfolio/retail-and-consumer.aspxTHE LDCMARKETPLACEwww.ldclessordinary.co.uk/marketplaceVisit the LDC Marketplace for‘online only’ promotional offersfor retail goods and services.WINTER 201010


WINNING THOUGHTSThe businessof winning...At LDC, we’re fortunate to have worked withhundreds of accomplished entrepreneurs andbusiness leaders over the last 30 years, manyof whom have created, defended and grownsome of the UK’s best performing businesses.Now, as the economy increasingly looks towards entrepreneurshipas a key driver of future expansion and employment, the need tounderstand the common characteristics and growth strategies ofsuccessful enterprise grows ever more important.“Whether it’s a question of radically redrawing the road map for abusiness, or re-engineering a cost base to meet a different level ofdemand, management teams need real decisiveness, determinationand detail to win through,” says Darryl Eales, Chief Executive of LDC.Earlier this year, we invited a number of respected non-executives workingwith LDC’s portfolio companies to give their insights on building winningteams, specifically the management skills and strategies needed to helpteams capitalise on opportunities following a downturn.Opposite, you’ll find excerpts from some of the series.For more winning thoughts on management,visit the LDC blog at www.ldclessordinary.co.uk11 REFLECTIONS


PETER OPPERMANPeter Opperman ran printing plantsfor St Ives PLC through the recessionsof the early 80s and 90s, beforebecoming CEO of Communigraphics –an under performing LDC investmentin 1992. After acquiring four firmsout of receivership, the £15millionturnover group was sold in 1998,giving a 40% IRR. He is non-executivechairman of LDC investee companiesLeasedrive Velo and Mobile Doctors.“In the last ten years I’ve worked with over30 management teams; the best displaykey characteristics, principally a totalclarity of purpose – a positive but ruthlessability to act decisively in the overallinterests of the business.“Having run businesses through threeupturns, you also develop a sense of thestrategies and tactics that can serve youwell. If you’re in a position to acquire, letthe competition know it. You might end upkissing a lot of frogs, but it can make moresense to buy a competitor at a depressedprice or out of receivership than to chasetheir customers.“At the same time, you have to be carefulnot to expand too soon. History has shownthat the years immediately following arecession can claim more businesses thana recession itself, as companies eitherover-invest or fail to have sufficientworking capital for expansion.”RAY LEDGERA former MD of equipment hire firmHewden Stuart, Ray later acquired astake in Scott’s Cranes Limited, makinga series of acquisitions during the1980s before selling the company toBET PLC for £85million. After mainboard director roles with HewdenStuart and Ainscough Cranes, hejoined Longville Group in 2003 asCEO, reversing a £16million loss intoa profit within one year. He joinedpowered access firm Kimberly Accessin 2007 to lead a MBO, backed byLDC, and remains executive chairman.“Once you’ve recognised a problem,the best management teams respondby communicating. Talk to your banks,non-executives, investors, employees –senior management and shop floor. Adjusteveryone’s mindset to the new reality andbe totally open. Every other decision youmake can then be framed by this context.“Management teams by their nature haveto be tough. They have to implementdecisions that will be unpopular, whichrequires guts and tenacity. If they can’t dothat, they’re in the wrong place. If you’rein a lifeboat, you want people around youwho are prepared to row. There’s no pointbeing a popular bankrupt.“Now is the time to be cultivatingacquisition opportunities ready for pricesto hit the bottom, but work to a clearlyformulated strategy that has the supportof your shareholders.“You have to stand back and ask yourselfis this going to create value, or does itput the security of the business at risk. It’snot all about size and scale. You need toknow what you’re going to do with thatacquisition at 8 o’clock the morning aftercompletion. It still surprises me that veryoften this is not the case.”CHRIS THOMASIn the 1980s and 90s, Chris climbedthe ranks of conglomerate Hanson,ultimately becoming a CEO withresponsibility for a £1billionn groupof 18 companies. In 1997, he led thebuyout of Hanson Electrical (Electrium),and ran a £38million secondary buyoutin 2003 backed by LDC, selling toSiemens two years later with an IRRof over 100%. In 2006, he led the£123million LDC and EuropeanCapital-backed buyout of AveryWeigh Tronix, selling two yearslater. He is currently non-executivechairman for LDC-backed companiesBullock and Cranswick.“In my experience, the best companiesare led by dictatorial CEOs. They makethe difficult decisions and the teamexecutes the strategy.“By communicating clearly and franklywith your staff, you keep them onside,ensure they stay motivated and removeany uncertainty they have abouttheir future.“Trading over the next two years will becrucial towards determining a firm’s longtermfuture. You can’t close your eyes tothe new opportunities that will undoubtedlypresent themselves over this period, buttiming is key.“Marketing is an essential spend duringa recession. Rather than cutting yourmarketing budget it would be wiser torestructure resources to increase investmenton the most effective marketing channels,rather than take a knife to the budget.“Asset prices in the current climate area lot lower, but the difficulties inheritedare often greater. Be sure you have theexpertise to deal with the extra baggageand make the operation profitable.”WINTER 2010 12


TMTSpotting opportunitiesin a fast-moving marketFew sectors have experienced the pace of change that TMT has over thelast decade. Well before recession, paradigm shifts such as the digitisationof media, the convergence of voice and data and the advent of cloudcomputing and software as a service were effectively re-shaping thesemarkets, changing the needs of customers and the business models ofcompanies operating within them.Now, with vastly improved data networks, rapid globalisation and thedrive to continually reduce costs, companies operating in these marketsare seeing significant demand and with it, opportunity for growth.“Companies are lookingto reduce the total cost ofownership, and cloudcomputing is a keyenabler in that”13REFLECTIONS


Voice as data and the impact of the cloudBuzzwords abound in the technology and telecoms sector, but, saysDaniel Sasaki, Investment Director at LDC who has led a number ofTMT investments, a lot of the hype and headlines is now translatinginto true market opportunity.“Some of the possibilities promised by new technologies suchas cloud computing are now becoming a commercial reality,thanks to the increased scale, reliability and security of globaldata networks.“Convergence of voice and data for example has now happened,and service providers can now manage your global IP trafficaround the world with the highest security and maximum up-time.Companies with this kind of proposition are ideally placed toexploit the acceleration towards cloud computing, which isprobably the biggest theme in technology for a decade.”Easynet, which LDC acquired from BSkyB (Sky) in a £100milliondeal earlier this year, is one such company. Today, it is a globalprovider of managed solutions and business connectivity serviceswith an unrivalled reputation amongst its customers.Its CEO, David Rowe, says the need to reduce the total cost ofownership of a company’s information systems is now providingreal impetus behind cloud computing.“What is happening is the convergence of IT and telecoms services.This has been enabled by major improvements in global data networksin the last few years, which have brought enhanced quality, securityand reliability. Now, coming out of a global recession and financialcrisis, companies are looking to reduce the total cost of ownership,and cloud computing is a key enabler in that.”But, as Deloitte states in its recent Technology Predictions report,the consensus on cloud is polarised. “One group positions cloudcomputing at the very apex of the hype curve, but still two to fiveyears away from mainstream adoption. The other suggests that in2010 cloud computing is about to explode.”Daniel Sasaki picks up the thread: “In our view, the economies ofcloud computing are hugely compelling, but concerns over securityand reliability have slowed adoption until now. That’s why providerslike Easynet, who have already won the trust of their customers fromdecades of high quality reliable service, are so well-placed to growtheir market share.”“As more and more software goes into the cloud, the costimperative will continue to drive change in behaviour,” continuesDavid Rowe. “A lot of businesses find themselves with a patchworkquilt of servers dotted around the globe, software platforms thatare costing them too much to run and a workforce that isincreasing mobile.“The opportunity to convert this kind of heavy, fixed capitalexpenditure into lighter, flexible operating cost will continueto encourage businesses to re-evaluate their approach.”Think beyond inkThe same speed and scale of change has caught many off guardin another fast-moving sector, that of media industries.Propelled by increasing speed and adoption of broadband, as wellas the proliferation of mobile internet devices - from smartphones suchas the ubiquitous iPhone to the latest generation of nettabs - mostmedia owners continue to wrestle the challenge of monetising theirgrowing online content while stemming the losses incurred fromtheir traditional products.Indeed, Deloitte predicts that, this year, online advertising spending willnot only grow in absolute terms, but is also likely to grow substantiallyfaster than the total advertising market, and continue to gain share.As ever, there will be winners and losers, says Daniel Sasaki.“The media landscape will undoubtedly look very different in five yearstime to the one we see today. The sheer scale of the digital challengefor many media owners has I think limited the amount of private equityinvestment into the sector over the last few years. But as we see moreand more evidence of how a paid-for model can work, this is likely tobring more businesses to market.“What is perhaps more evident, is that companies who can help mediabrands deliver their content at scale and at low cost will prosper.”RECENT LDC INVESTMENTS IN TMT:• 1st - The Exchange – provider of integratedtechnology, software and consultancyservices to the UK financial services industry.• Easynet - global provider of managedsolutions and business connectivity services.• Orion Media – owner of six Midlands radiolicences - BRMB, Heart, Beacon Radio,Mercia, Wyvern FM and Gold.• Quantel – provider of world-leading contentcreation systems for broadcast, post and DI.• Snell Limited – provider of technology to theinternational broadcasting market.For a full list of LDC TMT investments, visithttp://www.ldc.co.uk/Portfolio/TMT.aspxWINTER 2010 14


ASIAN OPPORTUNITIESOpportunity AsiaThe UK’s challenging economic climate has encouraged manycompanies to find new ways of cutting their cost base and toidentify new areas of long-term growth. For many, this meansturning their gaze eastwards towards Asia.Thanks to its presence in Hong Kong andcontacts in India, LDC is leveraging itsexpertise to help its portfolio businesses boostcompetitiveness, finding smarter ways ofrunning their supply chain in the Far East andunlocking potential in some of the world’sfastest growing overseas markets.ALL EYES TO THE EASTWhilst Asia still remains a significantly lowercost manufacturing location than the UK, manybusinesses importing from China have startedto feel the effect of rising costs, with wageinflation and rapidly increasing internationalfreight prices placing further pressure onmargins. At the same time, Asia is home tosome of the most attractive export markets.MALAYSIASHANGHAIBEIJINGCraig Wilkinson, head of LDC’s office in HongKong, which formally launched its operations in2009, says a growing number of companies in15REFLECTIONS


the LDC portfolio are taking advantage of theteam’s local expertise, either to establish supplylinks or develop distribution in the Far East, orto improve their existing relationships.“A lot of companies we back already dobusiness with China, “ says Craig. “But theevents of last 12 months have encouragedmore to review their sourcing and businessdevelopment strategies. From our base inHong Kong, we’ve spent a lot of time buildinglinks in key sourcing locations across SouthEastern China, as well as working to identifya network of distributors.”“For many of our management teams, havingsomeone on the ground who’s on your sidehas proved invaluable.”Craig cites two of LDC’s most recentinvestments – leading luggage brand Antlerand specialist outdoor equipment retailerMountain Warehouse - as current exampleswhere the team is providing support.“The team from Mountain Warehouse arealready regular visitors to China and we havemany initiatives running with them to help themidentify new sources of supply and potentialnew markets.“And we’re also working with Antler as theydevelop relationships with distributors acrossthe region.”With its portfolio companies importing overseveral thousand containers from China everyyear between them, Craig believes there areother opportunities for LDC to leverage its scaleto identify efficiencies in the face of rising costs.“Freight costs have risen considerably during2010 for many of our portfolio companies.We’re currently developing a new initiative topool their freight requirements as a means ofdriving down costs, which could save thosecompanies thousands of pounds.”THE INDIA CONNECTIONCrossing Continents, LDC is also helping toidentify similar business benefits for the portfoliothrough its newly established partnershipinitiative in India. Investment Director ShaliniKhemka, who leads the initiative, says theregion offers equally compelling opportunitiesfor UK portfolio companies, providing accessto some of the world’s leading players inbusiness transformation services.“A lot of companies we backalready do business in China”“India presents significant opportunities for ourinvestee companies for cost reduction, salesexpansion and M&A. Annual GDP growththere is expected to continue to be in excessof 8 per cent. We’re beginning to help someof our investee companies access the networksthat we’ve built throughout the sub-continent,which could make a significant difference tobottom-line performance.”One such initiative involves Ascend, a leadingprovider of insight and information on theaviation industry, which LDC backed in 2005.It has teamed up with Nadastra, the globalbusiness services group based in India,Sri-Lanka and the US, to develop a new backendIT platform to power Ascend’s aircraftand engine valuations services.Gehan Talwatte, CEO of Ascend, saysthe development represents a significantcompetitive advantage. “This will enableus to bring new products and services tothe market more quickly and withconsiderable cost savings.”INTERNATIONAL BRIGHTYOUNG THINGSBack in Hong Kong, Craig believes thenext few years will more opportunities forLDC to assist the portfolio through itsinternational presence.“We’re talking to several companies aboutdeveloping direct sourcing here in China.This is not something you do overnight, butfor companies who trade in competitivemarkets, identifying cost savings and bringingthem through to customers will continue toprovide a huge competitive advantage.“This is all about internationalising ourportfolio companies to help them succeedin a global market, and in doing so addingreal shareholder value.”Area 44,579,000 km 2Population 3,879,000,000density 89/km 2Countries48 DependenciesGDP ($) 21,504,497,000,000Time ZonesLARGEST CITIESUTC+2 - UTC+12TOKYOSEOULJAKARTADELHIMUMBAIWINTER 2010 16


HITTING THE ROADThis year saw LDC tackle arguably itsbiggest and most logistically challengingfundraising effort to date – the Tour deLDC, a long distance cycling challengefrom Land’s End to John O’Groatscovering over 1,100 miles.Over 200 cyclists from LDC and itsportfolio companies took part in the 15-day challenge, with many more joiningthe group on nine individual legs totowns and cities throughout the UK.Almost £200,000 was raised for goodcauses, including Help For Heroes,Maggie’s Centres, the Children’sHospice Association Scotland (CHAS)and Birmingham Children’s Hospital –many of whom were visited by thegroup en route.“The scale of the challenge – logisticallyfor LDC and personally for all thoseparticipating – was certainly daunting”,says LDC chief executive Darryl Eales.“Thanks to the contributions of ourgenerous sponsors, and the franklyawe-inspiring drive and determinationof the riders, the event surpassed allof our expectations.”“Now the aches and pains havesubsided, I think for many the Tour willhave represented a real opportunity toconquer a personal ambition. But morethan that, it was a reminder of the powerof collective human endeavour, which isso much greater than one man’s effort.”The group of riders was led by LDC’svery own ambassador Mark Beaumont– the professional solo cyclistwho held the world record for thecircumnavigation of the world bybicycle (covering some 18,296miles in 194 days and 17 hours).£185,000 RAISED FOR CHARITYTo read more on theTour de LDC – including blogpostsfrom along the journey –visit www.ldclessordinary.co.ukWINTER 201018


SPORTING ENDEAVOURSAs part of our tradition of developing and supporting the communitiesin which we operate, LDC supports a number of individuals who arestriving for success in their chosen fields.Here, we give a brief update on their achievements in 2010.MARK BEAUMONTIn 2010, LDC ambassador Mark Beaumont,continued his adventuring career, completinganother solo and unsupported 15,000-milejourney from Alaska to Tierra Del Fuego whichinvolved 13,000 miles of cycling and reachingthe highest peaks in North and South America.The ‘Cycling the Americas’ adventure, and hisprevious circumnavigation journey – which isalso the topic of his first book, The Man whoCycled the World - have both been filmed andscreened by the BBC.His lectures for LDC on the subject, highlightinghis passion to succeed in these feats of endurance,have proven hugely successful.Mark is currently at home in Scotland writinghis second book, which will be published inMay 2011.“I’m also getting into training for my nextadventure, but you’ll have to wait for moredetail on that!”www.markbeaumontonline.com19REFLECTIONS


MEGHAN BEESLEYEarlier this year, LDC sponsored athlete Meghan clocked a new personalbest time of 56.65 for the 400m hurdles in Reims, and took silver medalin the National Championship and has retained her BUCS 400m title.But it was her performance representing England in the CommonwealthGames in Delhi in October – her first senior major championships -that provided her most memorable achievement, winning silver inthe 4 x 400m relay.With her sights now firmly set on the 2012 Olympic Games,Meghan, is steadily increasing her experience of training andcompeting at the highest level.“The Commonwealth Games was a great experience anda big success,” said Meghan. “It has made me even moredetermined to prepare for 2012.”www.meghanbeesley.netMATTHEW SOLOMONFourteen year old karter Matthew Solomon, who is based in Hong Kong, China, hascontinued developing his racing skills this year, competing in this year’s European MaxChampionship (RGMC) and selected rounds of the British Super 1.In October, he competed in the Japanese Rotax finals, driving a strong weekendto secure an 8th place finish.His ambition is to race at the highest level of single seater competition, F1.Matt has worked with Marc Hynes, whose expertise has seen the likes of LewisHamilton and Kimi Raikkonen move on to the ultimate pinnacle of motor racing’sachievements and completed an intensive programme under the guidance ofCarlo Van Dam (Former European Karting Champion) with Paul Carr Racing inthe UK, where he had the opportunity to drive with some of the best drivers inthe UK and Europe. A strong fitness program has now enteredhis daily routine to further progress his training for the future.“I’ve got a lot further to go, but I’ve been pleasedwith my progress this year and my training hashelped me hone my technique.”www.mattsolomon.comWINTER 2010 20


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