Sohonet ropes in LDC to accelerate its international growth

10 March 2021 3 min. read

UK mid-market private equity firm LDC has invested in Sohonet, a provider of connectivity, collaboration software, media services and network security for the media and entertainment industry. The deal was advised upon by experts from a dozen professional services firms.

Founded in 1995, Sohonet provides over 500 media companies and thousands of media professionals with a wide range of technically advanced and highly secure solutions. LDC’s investment will support the existing management team, led by CEO Chuck Parker, to further build on its international growth strategy and explore complementary acquisitions.

A raft of professional services specialists supported the deal. On the buy-side, LDC received corporate finance and debt advisory services from GCA Altium, commercial due diligence support from CIL, financial due diligence and tax consulting from KPMG, legal advice from Osborne Clarke, technical support from Mentor, IT guidance from Intechnica, insurance advice from Aon, and management support from Prelude.

Sohonet ropes in LDC to accelerate its international growth

Meanwhile on the other side of the table, Sohonet received corporate finance advice from Raymond James, commercial due diligence from EY-Parthenon, financial due diligence and tax consulting from RSM, and legal advice from Goodwin Proctor, while its management were legally advised by Mishcon de Reya.

With locations in London, Los Angeles, New York and Sydney, Sohonet employs more than 120 people and has grown revenues by 30% in the last three years. Sohonet operates in a market that is fuelled by the growth of leading on-demand platforms like Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime, and the rising demand for highly secure technological services. LDC will support Sohonet to build out its products and services, explore new markets and complementary acquisitions.

The investment was led by Head of LDC in the South West Dewi Hughes, Senior Director Steve Aston, Investment Manager James Garland and Investment Director Oliver Schofield. Hughes and Aston will join the board alongside Tim Weller as Non-Executive Chairman, bringing a wealth of technology, production and post-production experience in the international media industry.

Hughes commented, "Chuck and his ambitious team came to LDC with a clearly mapped out strategy to continue to grow the business in a rapidly evolving market environment. We are therefore delighted to be investing in such a well-established, branded innovator and to support Sohonet in the next chapter of their journey."

Sohonet adds to LDC's existing portfolio of media and entertainment related business, having backed Bristol-headquartered TV production company Plimsoll Productions in 2019. In the past two years, LDC has supported its portfolio companies to complete over 50 acquisitions with a combined enterprise value of more than £250 million, and in September 2020, this included LDC helping Plimsoll acquire specialist distribution and rights management company Magnify Media – a possible sign of what is to come for Sohonet now it has the private equity firm’s backing.