UK investor makes more than three times its money passing gas business to KKR

Lucy White
LDC sells A-Gas to KKR
A-Gas received £29m from LDC, followed by a further £30m

LDC, a UK private equity investor, has more than tripled the money it invested in speciality gas business A-Gas through a sale to KKR, one of the world's oldest private equity firms.

A-Gas, which distributes and manages gases used in cooling, refrigeration and fire protection, originally received £29m from LDC to help it grow.

The investor funnelled in an extra £30m to help it complete six acquisitions across the globe, meaning the business now operates from 16 sites in Europe, Australia, South Africa and North America.

“The six strategic acquisitions and integration of those businesses has resulted in a near doubling of revenues and tripling of employee numbers since our original investment,” said Martin Draper, chief executive of LDC.

“Our journey with A-Gas is an excellent example of how private equity can unlock the potential in a business, particularly through a buy and build strategy.”

Under LDC's hold, A-Gas has grown its revenues by 79 per cent and its earnings before tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) have escalated by 103 per cent.

This will be the second European investment in a week for global firm KKR, following its acquisition of Dutch car park business Q-Park.

For LDC – which also owns businesses such as CitySprint and Rush Hair & Beauty – it constitutes the second exit from a portfolio company in less than a month, following the sale of web-hosting business UK2 to online beauty retailer The Hut Group.

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