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Lloyds’ buyout arm agrees 11th deal this year

LDC, one of the few remaining in-house private equity arms at an investment bank, has continued its breathless dealmaking pace, agreeing its 11th deal so far this year.

LDC, the in-house private equity arm of Lloyds TSB Bank, has agreed its 11th deal so far this year, putting it on course to match the heady pace of dealmaking it achieved in 2011.

Last year, the firm agreed 18 deals and invested £360 million ($558 million; €445 million) in equity. That equates to 1.5 deals a month on average, and an average equity commitment of £20 million.

So far this year, it has made 11 deals and invested £170 million, equating to 1.8 deals a month with equity components of £15 million on average.

The firm’s dealflow demonstrates that while GPs operating higher up the dealmaking spectrum struggle to put capital to work – largely due to the difficulty in raising debt financing and a mismatch between buyer and seller pricing expectations – firms operating in the lower mid-market have been able to transact with greater regularity.

LDC’s latest deal, the buyout of UK-based wireless internet provider Metronet, is understood to be valued in the region of £15 million. Of that enterprise value, £11 million has been provided by LDC in equity.

The deal also represents an exit for its previous backers: private equity group YFM Equity Partners and angel investor group Acceleris, which invested in the business at start-up in 2003.

Other recent deals this year by LDC include the buyouts of outdoor advertising group Ocean Outdoor and recruitment businesses Pertemps and Network. It has also been busy on the exit side too, selling lingerie and swimwear business Eveden Group to Japanese corporate Wacoal Holdings Corporation for £148 million, and Cranswick Pet Products to Westland Horticulture for £18 million.