DWF LLP has advised the selling shareholder and management team on the investment in North West engineering firm Mini-cam Enterprises Limited by equity firm LDC.
Mini-Cam, which makes water pipeline inspection systems and is based at Golbourne near Warrington, will use the funding to boost its new product portfolio and enter new markets in this country and overseas.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. LDC has taken a significant minority stake in the business, which has 37 employees.
Founded in 1991 by chief executive Nigel Wilson, Mini-Cam designs and manufactures a range of CCTV pipeline inspection systems, including Crawler Systems and Push Cameras which are supplied to major utility firms and their contractors to meet increasing demand for inspection activity. One of its products, the Proteus 300 crawler, is known as The Beast.
LDC’s investment was led by Chris Wright (investment director) and Johnny Bell (director and co-head of LDC in the North West) and will provide additional funding to accelerate Mini-Cam’s forecast growth, focusing on R&D, expanding the firm’s international distribution network.
Entrepreneur Mark Mills, will remain non-executive chairman of the business, whilst Tony Clarkson will be appointed as non-executive Director. Colin White, whose experience includes Nanoco, Scapa and Smiths Group, will join the business as finance director.
Chris Wright, who will join the board at completion, said: “Mini-Cam is a great example of a high quality, British engineering business that has a proven ability to innovate robust, high quality products which is a clear market leader in its field with a rapidly growing export division.
"Private equity investment will provide the management team with the catalyst it needs to take the next step in its development as it looks to further establish itself on the international stage."
Nigel Wilson, CEO of Mini-Cam, said: “There is significant investment in developing and maintaining the ageing water infrastructure in developed countries around the world, to cope with increasing demand.
"In the UK alone, there is over half a million kilometres of pipeline and contractors need robust, technologically-advanced equipment to effectively inspect and maintain on behalf of the major utilities companies.”
"With the support of LDC, we will be able to drive further investment in the development of our market-leading systems which help contractors do their job efficiently and to the highest standards."
Mark Mills, chairman of Mini-Cam, added: "Mini-Cam is ideally placed to serve additional customers in oil and gas, nuclear, industrial and the construction sectors with LDC’s expertise and assistance. We are excited about the future for Mini Cam and thank all of our advisors, particularly Frank Shephard, Darren Ormsby, Katy Philips and Matt Judge at DWF for their contribution and pragmatic advice.”
Johnny Bell added: “This is the fourth deal over the last eight months for the LDC Manchester office bringing the total investment to over £90m of equity, which is in line with our commitment to invest £300m over the next three years."
Frank Shephard, Corporate Partner at DWF, said “This represents a great deal for all concerned and a real team effort and it is particularly pleasing to see a long term relationship between Mini Cam and LDC come to fruition. It is also pleasing for DWF as we have worked with both parties for many years.”