Stalwart dealmaker at LDC stepping down

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One of Yorkshire’s best-known dealmakers, John Swarbrick, is standing down after a dozen years at the helm of Lloyds Development Capital.

The 53-year-old has led on 24 investments worth a total of £215m during his tenure at LDC in Leeds. The office reported total gains of £220m since 2000.

John Garner, previously the head of LDC in the East Midlands, will take over as head of office, while Mr Swarbrick will move into a part-time role until his departure at the end of next year.

He said: “This is a mature, amicable and planned transition. I have had a fantastic career at LDC and built lifelong relationships both within LDC and in the market place.

“I am delighted for John Garner. He is an experienced operator with a strong track record and a relationship-based style.

“LDC has been a major part of the private equity community in the region for over a decade and I’m confident John will continue to develop its role into the future.”

He will continue to sit on the board of companies LDC has invested in including Hull-based MKM Building Supplies, Chesterfield-based Eve Trakway and Bradford-based Driver Hire.

Notable deals include Aesica Pharmaceuticals, which increased turnover from £25m in 2004 to £90m in 2010, and The Card Factory, which Charterhouse bought for a reputed £350m in 2010.

LDC invested £380m in 20 companies last year, as well as providing £53m of extra funding to existing portfolio businesses.

This year, it has invested £200m of equity in 13 businesses and provided extra funding to support nine portfolio acquisitions.

The private equity house, which is owned by taxpayer-backed Lloyds Banking Group, made a profit of £74m in 2010.

LDC has carried on investing in Yorkshire SMEs in a moribund deals market, said a spokesman.

Darryl Eales, chief executive of LDC, said: “John is a true LDC stalwart – he balances excellent investment judgement with a management-orientated, commercial style.”

Mr Garner, a corporate financier who trained at KPMG, joined LDC in 2006. He said: “I’m looking forward to developing our relationships with the market and wider business community and supporting the growth aspirations of management teams.”

He added that he has a mandate to continue to increase investments.