Water management firm to tap into more growth after receiving £12m injection from LDC

June 27, 2024

The Bristol office of private equity funder LDC has invested £12m in a tech-enabled water management consultancy to support its organic growth strategy.

Waterscan helps its customers develop effective sustainable water management strategies that deliver business resilience and environmental leadership. 

Founded in 1994, it employs more than 60 people at its sites in Chichester and Rotherham and advises a UK-wide client base of blue-chip companies that includes household names such as BT, Greene King, Sainsbury’s, John Lewis and Whitbread, the owner of Premier Inn.

Waterscan’s Waterline proprietary technology platform provides real-time data and insights on water management that enable customers to save water, reduce costs and make informed strategic decisions.

This is supplemented by an approach that includes the ability to adopt a self-supply model that gives businesses complete control of their water by enabling them to deal directly with water wholesalers and Ofwat.

Waterscan has helped make collective savings of more than £38m for customers since this market opened in 2017.

LDC, which is part of Lloyds Banking Group, is backing Waterscan’s existing management team, led by founder and CEO Neil Pendle, commercial director Nick Hayes and operations director Barry Millar, as it pursues a growth strategy underpinned by further investment in its technology and consultancy services. The deal marks an exit for family office Kaye Enterprises.

The transaction was led by a LDC team that included investment director Stefan Gunn, investment manager Alex Knox and investment executive Sally Tam.

Stefan and Sally will join Waterscan’s board as non-executive directors alongside Neil Penhall who joins as non-executive chair.

Neil is the former CEO of environmental consultancy SLR Consulting and has more than 35 years’ experience driving international growth in the sustainability sector.

Waterscan founding CEO Neil Pendle said: “It’s essential that water forms a key part of every business’ sustainability strategy and it’s great to see awareness of this increase.

“It’s an exciting time for the water sector and our partnership with LDC will enable us to further invest in new technologies and ultimately deliver even better outcomes for customers.

“We’ve been impressed with the team at LDC since our very first meeting and are looking forward to having them with us for the next stage of our growth journey.”

LDC investment director Stefan Gunn added: “Neil and the team at Waterscan have a great deal of experience having pioneered the self-supply model post market deregulation in 2017 and are hugely passionate about helping businesses to achieve their sustainability goals.

“They are supporting customers across all corners of the UK and helping them to optimise water usage at a time when all consumers are starting to recognise the increased value – and indeed scarcity – of water.

“We’re excited about what the future holds for Waterscan as it continues to invest in Waterline and broaden its services, and are pleased to welcome Neil Penhall to the board as he brings significant and relevant experience.”

The deal is the LDC’s latest investment in an ESG-focused business. It follows investments in water and environmental sustainability specialist Stonbury, sustainability data and technology provider Sedex, and Boston Energy, a technical services provider to the wind energy industry.

LDC was advised by RSM UK (corporate finance and tax), Womble Bond Dickinson (legal), Grant Thornton (financial due diligence), PMSI (commercial due diligence) and Coppett Hill (value creation due diligence).
Waterscan was advised by KPMG (corporate finance) and Stevens & Bolton (legal).

LDC’s own commitment to embedding ESG performance across all levels of its business ranges from ensuring its own operations are net zero by 2030 to working with its portfolio company management teams to successfully transition to a low-carbon economy and driving diversity in the UK’s future business leaders through its partnership with The Prince’s Trust.


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