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The Business Magazine July 2024
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LDC invests £12m in Waterscan to support growth

Southern Water
2 July 2024

LDC, the private equity investor which is part of Lloyds Banking Group, has invested £12m in Waterscan, the Chichester water management consultancy, to support its organic growth strategy.

Founded in 1994, Waterscan helps customers to develop effective sustainable water management strategies. It employs more than 60 people at its sites in Chichester and Rotherham and advises a UK-wide customer base of blue-chip companies, including household names such as BT, Greene King, Sainsbury’s, John Lewis and Whitbread, the owner of Premier Inn.

Waterscan’s proprietary technology platform, Waterline, provides real-time data and insights on water management for its customers. 

The company has helped make collective savings of more than £38m for customers since market opening in 2017.

LDC 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 transaction marks an exit for family office Kaye Enterprises.

The transaction was led by LDC’s team in the South West and Wales, including Investment Director Stefan Gunn, Investment Manager Alex Knox and Investment Executive Sally Tam. Stefan and Sally will join the 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.

Neil Pendle, founder and CEO of Waterscan, 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. We’re helping our customers to develop strategies that save water, reduce cost and ultimately help them to reduce their water footprint. 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.

Stefan Gunn, Investment Director at LDC, 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.”

This transaction is the firm’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).

Working capital facilities were provided by Virgin Money.


Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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