Eve is a leading provider of temporary access solutions ranging from roadways, walkways and barriers to the super fortress fence used at the Glastonbury Festival. The business was sold to Ashtead Group plc for £28 million, plus a £7 million earn-out in 2013.
The transaction represented the culmination of a long standing relationship which PPCF developed with the company from 2006 when Eve was identified by its previous corporate owners as non-core. PPCF acted as lead advisor to the management team which acquired the business via a competitive auction including several trade buyers.
The business is asset rich and strongly cash generative, which allowed PPCF to structure an innovative funding solution including funds from an asset-based lender and deferred consideration, backed by an investment-grade insurance policy.
The business went on to make a bolt-on acquisition in 2007 before the management shareholders decided to take on an equity partner in 2008. PPCF acted as lead advisor during this process and introduced a small number of potential private equity players. Management decided to partner with LDC who acquired a minority stake.
Following the LDC investment Eve bought two more companies, Anglia Traffic Management Group and Brightlights, with PPCF providing acquisition advisory services, including lead advice on transaction structures and funding as well as providing financial due diligence on the transactions.
Throughout 2011 and 2012 PPCF worked closely with Eve’s shareholders on the strategy and timing for a realisation of their investment. The business was marketed to a diverse range of potential purchasers, both in the UK and overseas. Ashtead Group plc was chosen as the preferred purchaser and the sale was completed in May 2013.