Fidelity backs £33 million buy-out

Picsolve, a provider of photography services for theme park operators, has been acquired for £33 million in a management buy-out (MBO) backed by international investment firm Fidelity Equity Partners.

Fidelity’s investment was bolstered by senior debt of £13 million from The Royal Bank of Scotland.

The vendors were led by Meridian Equity, an investor in mid-market UK businesses which had backed a previous buy-out at the company.

Picsolve, which operates systems that take photos of amusement park visitors on high-speed roller coasters, is planning ‘aggressive expansion plans’ in Europe, where it is already established, as well as the US, South East Asia and the Middle East.

Nick Martin, partner at Fidelity Equity Partners, and Stephen Findlay, the firm’s vice president, led the investment and have joined Picsolve’s board.

Findlay comments: ‘Given the difficult banking environment and economic climate, we have been especially pleased to be able to smoothly deliver a leveraged buy-out of a highly seasonal consumer facing business.’

He adds that Fidelity intends to use its network in the US and Asia to assist Picsolve’s expansion plans.

Existing customers of Derby-based Picsolve include Alton Towers, the London Eye and the three Legoland parks in Europe, as well as Madame Tussauds globally. The company was founded in 1994.

Marc Barber

Marc Barber

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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