LONDON Microlease, a major European telecoms test equipment rental company, has been bought by its management team in a deal worth �£30million. The team, lead by chief executive Nigel Brown secured funding from mid-market private equity firm Lloyds TSB Development Capital (LDC) to buy out the founding shareholders.
Microlease (Harrow, U.K.) claims to have the largest rental pool of test and measurement equipment in Europe and has built a 50% share of the U.K. rental market and a 40% share in France. It has grown throughout mainland Europe over the past three years with particular success in Italy and Spain. It also claims to have a strong presence in the U.S.
The company has increased its turnover for nine consecutive quarters and targets further aggressive growth, aiming to maximize the opportunity presented by the expansion of global telecoms networks to support broadband and internet-based digital TV services.
“The telecoms sector is thriving and the drive for efficiencies is creating high demand for outsourced test equipment from major industry players,” said Brown. “The MBO marks the start of Microlease’s campaign to consolidate rental, contract hire, direct purchase and calibration and repair services in a single cost-saving consultancy package.”
Anthony Bull, investment director at LDC, added, “Microlease allows rapidly expanding telecoms companies to keep costly and short-term assets such as specialist test equipment off their balance sheets. Its impressive management team has LDC’s full backing as together we build the business’ global presence.”
Microlease was set up in 1979 and operates globally providing over 3,000 types of equipment from all the major manufacturers, including Agilent Technologies, Anritsu, JDSU (Acterna), Rohde & Schwarz, Spirent and Tektronix. Users can rent, lease, buy or sell equipment as well as services for their own equipment, from calibration and repair, to full asset management.
LDC has completed over 400 investments and has ongoing interests in over 80 businesses across the U.K. It works with management teams seeking between �£2million and �£75million of equity. It invests in a broad range of sectors, including electrical, financial services, healthcare, IT & software, leisure & media, retail, specialist engineering and support services.