Helping to create value in Yorkshire

Sophie Isaacs and Ana-Maria Garaba, Origination Manager and Investment Manager in LDC’s Yorkshire team, spoke to about the current opportunities for businesses in the region and how the private equity investor is helping ambitious management teams to pursue growth.

What makes Yorkshire stand out, and what is your future outlook for the region?

Sophie: I’ve spent my career working in Yorkshire and relationships mean everything. I’ve been able to meet some incredible business leaders here in the region.

For example, there’s a really strong community of technology entrepreneurs and tech is steadily becoming an integral part of other sectors – from healthcare to education, which is creating a lot of opportunities.

The advisory community here is also strong, and we’re lucky to have lots of talented teams and individuals with deep expertise that cover the whole spectrum of services. Working collaboratively, we’re able to help a varied array of businesses across the region to grow.

Ana-Maria: I would add that the business community is also becoming more inclusive and diverse. Companies here all seem to have a broad representation of people in terms of ethnicity and gender, which has enabled firms to better reflect the communities in which they operate and deepen their relationship with their customers.

Looking ahead, there are lots of exciting investment opportunities in the region and we continue to work with a range of great businesses. While many are still facing challenges relating to inflationary pressures and other obstacles, there remain clear avenues for growth and there are partners, like LDC, who are well positioned to support management teams through both good times and difficult ones.

Longer term, I think we’ll see greater inward investment into Yorkshire as more high-profile businesses move to the region. As Sophie has mentioned, there’s a thriving technology and digital hub here, but also world-leading manufacturing and services capabilities.

The arrival of Channel 4 in Leeds, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently announcing it intends to double in size in the region, and plans for a new Advanced Manufacturing and Research Centre in Sheffield, have shone a spotlight on Yorkshire and what we have to offer, helping to increase our national profile and attract talent. This will have a positive knock-on effect across the rest of the business community and it’s certainly an exciting time to be working here.

How does LDC help Yorkshire businesses to add value?

Ana-Maria: We’re Yorkshire’s leading private equity investor and have been partnering with management teams spanning Harrogate to Sheffield since we opened our Leeds office almost 35 years ago.

A great recent example of how we help management teams here achieve their growth ambitions is our partnership with York-based Cellhire, the global provider of mobile Voice and Data and Internet of Things (IoT) communications services, following our investment in June 2022.

I was part of the investment process from start to finish and I’m now working with the management team to help execute their plans. This includes expanding the business’ product and services offering and growing its customer base in the UK and internationally. And this year, amongst other activity, Cellhire will provide connectivity services at both the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and the Rugby World Cup in France.

Sophie: Another recent investment example is the start of our partnership with Boston Energy, a technical services provider to the wind energy industry.

Based in Beverley, the business employs and trains specialist technicians to build and maintain onshore and offshore wind turbines across the globe, including in Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America. Its technicians already support more than 10,000 wind turbines, and our investment is helping the company to target further international expansion by taking advantage of opportunities to grow in all of its core markets globally and to support the transition to a clean energy economy.

We also support management teams in our portfolio with access to our network of non-executive directors and industry experts, and our nationwide team of Value Creation Partners. This team of strategy experts, which has more than 150 years’ experience of operational, technology and commercial leadership combined, supports our portfolio throughout the whole lifecycle of an investment, in areas including pricing and marketing, digital transformation, international expansion, ESG strategies, and more.

Beyond transactions, how else does LDC make a difference in the Yorkshire region?

Sophie: We have a national partnership with leading youth charity The Prince’s Trust which is now four years strong, and last year we more than doubled our commitment to support at least 10,000 young people to start, sustain and grow their own business. This five-year UK-wide partnership extension made LDC the leading supporter of the charity’s young entrepreneurs.

Ana-Maria: Locally, we’ve also recently supported four more incredibly worthwhile charities; St Gemma’s Hospice, which provides expert care and support for local people with terminal or life-limiting illnesses; Zarach, which delivers beds and mattresses to children in poverty; cancer support charity Maggies; and Candlelighters, which supports families facing children’s cancer in Yorkshire. These are all outstanding causes, selected because they are close to our team’s hearts.

With the collective approach of the region’s corporate finance and thriving business communities, the future of Yorkshire is in safe hands. We look forward to supporting ambitious management teams here for many years to come.

LDC is a sponsor of’s Yorkshire Business of the Year Awards. Find out more and enter here.

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