Leading mid-market private equity firm LDC and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), have agreed the sale of NBS to Byggfakta Group, a leading data and software provider to the European construction industry headquartered in Sweden and backed by private equity firms Stirling Square Capital Partners and TA Associates. Financial details of the transaction are undisclosed.
Headquartered in Newcastle UK, NBS is a global leading technology platform that combines the best content and connectivity for anyone involved in the design, supply and construction of the built environment.
LDC and the RIBA partnered to support the growth of NBS in June 2018, with LDC investing £31.8m to help drive NBS’s future product development and international expansion plans. The sale follows a period of significant revenue and EBITDA growth for NBS.
LDC helped the management team to drive an organic and acquisitive growth strategy that saw international revenues increase considerably. NBS established permanent bases in both Canada and Australia, and completed the acquisitions of SCL Schumann and EzySpec in Australia to create Australia’s most comprehensive platform for building product information and architectural specifications, supported by consulting services.
The firm also invested significantly in its product suite during the partnership, transitioning legacy on-premise products into two flagship cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions, NBS Chorus and NBS Source. Both products help bring construction specifiers and manufacturers together, improving the quality of decision making and driving product specification.
NBS marks Byggfakta Group’s first expansion to the UK and follows the recent acquisitions of Vortal in Portugal and Olmero in Switzerland. The acquisition of NBS will enable Byggfakta Group to broaden its scope both geographically and functionally, and to strengthen its position as a leading data and technology provider to the European construction industry, spanning project information, product information, specification, e-tendering, and e-billing.
The transaction was led, on behalf of LDC, by Chief Executive Martin Draper and Head of Yorkshire Dan Smith.
Martin Draper, Chief Executive of LDC said: “The success of NBS over the last two and a half years proves the value of LDC’s approach to supporting experienced and ambitious management teams with the resource, capital and network to grow their businesses. They have delivered both international expansion and significant new product development in a short period of time to create a solid foundation for continued growth. We wish NBS all the best on the next stage of their growth journey with Byggfakta Group.”
Colin Smith, Executive Chairman of NBS said: “Our partnership with LDC has both transformed our business and supercharged our growth. They backed our ambition to expand internationally and invested in our technology development, helping us to meet our objectives sooner than expected despite the uncertainty in the market. The team also supported our decision to join Byggfakta Group and we’re excited about the future for NBS as part of a larger international group.”
RIBA President Alan Jones said: “The RIBA founded NBS, and alongside LDC, we are proud to have played a key role in developing it into a thriving business offering exceptional products and services. This transaction secures the RIBA’s long-term future and supports our ongoing work on behalf of members and the architects’ profession in the UK and internationally. My thanks go to our expert executive team, led by Alan Vallance, my fellow trustees and advisors. This deal paves the way for an exciting new era of opportunity.”
Byggfakta Group CEO Stefan Lindqvist said: “We have long known about and admired NBS and its unique position in the UK construction market. With the support of RIBA and LDC, and under Colin’s leadership, NBS has become an attractive, SaaS-native technology vendor and we are excited to welcome the company, its employees, and its customers into the Byggfakta family.”
The completion of the transaction is subject to the customary regulatory approvals.
The shareholders of NBS were advised by BofA Securities and Addleshaw Goddard. Byggfakta Group was advised by Goodwin Procter.
For more information contact:
LDC: Sophie Millward - Sophie.Millward@Citypress.co.uk
NBS: Robin Cordy - Robin.Cordy@thenbs.com
RIBA: Melanie Mayfield - Melanie.Mayfield@riba.org
Byggfakta Group: Stefan Lindqvist - Stefan.Lindqvist@byggfaktagroup.com
LDC is the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group with nearly 40 years’ experience of backing ambitious management teams from UK-based mid-market companies.
NBS is a global leading technology platform that combines the best content and connectivity for anyone involved in the design, supply and construction of the built environment. For architects, engineers, designers and contractors we provide a cloud-based specification system that enables them to work smarter and reduce their risk.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a global professional membership body that serves its members and society in order to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment.
Byggfakta Group (formerly known as DOCUnordic) is the leading provider of business intelligence, data analytics services, and tendering software to the construction, real estate and healthcare markets across the Nordic, Iberian and DACH regions. Byggfakta Group has around 700 employees working from offices in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Portugal and Spain and is a portfolio company of Stirling Square Capital Partners and TA Associates.