Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has advised leading mid-market private equity firm LDC on its £13m investment in digital media company Hybrid. LDC’s investment will support Hybrid’s existing management team to grow and develop the business organically and explore targeted acquisitions.
Headquartered in Bristol, Hybrid, a leading digital agency in the higher education market, partners with universities, helping them to engage specialist audiences across the higher education and technology sectors. LDC, Lloyds Banking Group’s private equity arm, will support Hybrid’s existing management team, led by CEO Chris Cammann, to broaden its services to clients and pursue its domestic and international growth ambitions.
The WBD team representing LDC was led by the firm's Bristol corporate practice, with partner Tom Fitzpatrick, managing associate Alex Fergus and associate Jo Norris advising on the transaction. Additional advice was provided by banking partner John Connor, and associate Viktor Osasu.
Tom Fitzpatrick of WBD commented:
"LDC are a long-standing client of other WBD offices, and we have acted on many deals where LDC were involved, but this is the first deal where our Bristol team has acted for them and we are delighted to have them as another private equity client. We wish the business well in its growth plans and look forward to working with Hybrid and LDC in the future."
The investment was led by LDC’s Head of South West and Wales, Dewi Hughes, and Investment Directors Oliver Schofield and Stefan Gunn. Dewi and Oliver will join the Board as Non-Executive Directors.
Dewi Hughes, Head of South West and Wales at LDC, said:
“With the increasing global use of digital media, there is a significant opportunity for digital marketing agencies that can engage specialist audiences. The team at Hybrid has a strong track record of innovation and growth, an established international network and a passion to provide market leading outcomes for its clients. We are excited to support the team’s ambitions and plans.”
Commenting on the investment, Hybrid CEO Chris Cammann, said:
“When we were exploring our funding options, we were keen to remain in the driving seat of our business but wanted support from an experienced and knowledgeable investor with a committed source of capital and a shared belief in our goals. LDC understands our direction and we’re looking forward to the journey together.”
Hybrid has an international client base which includes higher education institutions such as the University of Bristol, Australian National University and Columbia University in New York, in addition to global tech brands such as Autodesk, Cisco and Verizon. With offices in Bristol, Kuala Lumpur and Sydney, Hybrid employs more than 70 people worldwide.
LDC was advised by EY (financial and tax advisory), Womble Bond Dickinson (legal), BDO (financial and tax due diligence) and Plural (commercial due diligence).
Hybrid was advised by Sequence (advisory), Royds Withy King (legal) and Bishop Fleming (financial and tax).
Ranking in the UK's top 20 law firms, WBD provides legal expertise in its key sectors from across seven offices in the UK and 19 offices in the US. The firm has a large corporate practice in the UK advising national and international clients on a broad range of corporate transactions, particularly M&A, IPOs, joint ventures, private equity investments as well as growth and development capital fundraisings.