Picsolve International Announces Management Buyout

Fidelity Equity Partners buys out existing investors

Picsolve International, the industry leading photographic systems and services provider for leisure attraction operators, has announced that Fidelity Equity Partners, who focus on high-growth, leveraged buyout investments in Europe and North America, has completed a £33.0 million management buyout of the Company from the investors led by Meridian Equity LLP. Fidelity Equity Partners’ investment was supported by a senior debt package of £13.0 million provided by The Royal Bank of Scotland.

Fidelity Equity Partners will support Picsolve’s determined expansion plans, focusing predominantly on organic and acquisitive growth in Europe (where it already has market leadership), the US, South East Asia and the Middle East.  Research estimates that the global theme and amusement park market is worth over $24bn* and that close to 700m* people visit theme parks annually.

Picsolve provides and operates innovative, reliable, high-quality photographic systems and services – taking photographs of people on high speed roller coasters at theme parks and at visitor attractions around the world, including: Alton Towers, Futuroscope, Port Aventura, the London Eye, and the three Legoland parks, in Europe; Busch Gardens in the USA; and Madame Tussauds globally.  Established in 1994, the technology-driven company is headquartered in Derby, UK with offices in Europe, USA, Hong Kong and New Zealand and has over 300 installations throughout the world.

Nick Martin, Partner, and Stephen Findlay, Vice President, for Fidelity Equity Partners, led the investment and have joined Picsolve’s board of directors.

Nick Martin, Partner, Fidelity Equity Partners, said, “We are delighted to be investing in Picsolve, the market leader in this exciting and growing market, which has historically proved remarkably resilient to economic downturn.  With proprietary technology, superior know-how and outstanding customer service at its core, Picsolve remains a clear step ahead of its competition, as demonstrated by the strength of its relationships with the leisure attraction operators and its ability to rapidly take market share.”

Gary Cormack, CEO, Picsolve (pictured right), commented, “Fidelity Equity Partners’ global network and hands-on business building experience will be invaluable for us and we are extremely pleased to welcome them on board. Our technology and unrivalled expertise means that theme parks are able to offer an additional brand strengthening opportunity to their guests – and those guests come away with a fantastic souvenir and enhanced experience. With Fidelity Equity Partners we are looking forward to going through the next stage of development and are excited about taking our expansion plans forward.”

Stephen Findlay, Vice President, Fidelity Equity Partners, added. “Given the difficult banking environment and economic climate, we have been especially pleased to be able to smoothly deliver a leveraged buyout of a highly seasonal consumer facing business.  This is a clear demonstration of Fidelity Equity Partners’ ability to identify, support and invest in high quality service businesses.  We will use the Fidelity network in the US and Asia to help Picsolve penetrate those markets further as well as Fidelity’s ICT know-how to help Picsolve develop its systems and services.”

*2008: L.E.K. Consulting

About Picsolve International
Picsolve International is one of the world’s leading imaging solutions companies, providing photographic services through more than 300 installations at leisure attractions around the world, including Alton Towers, the London Eye in the UK, Futuroscope in France and Busch Gardens in the USA.
 
Established in 1994, Picsolve is the market leader in the UK and Europe, and has a fast growing portfolio of clients in the USA and Asia.
 
Picsolve supplies leading edge technology, underpinned by a fully integrated service, removing the client’s need to recruit and manage staff.  With a proven ability to deliver the right commercial result for their clients and consumers wherever they are in the world, Picsolve ensures the client’s brand is supported and enhanced.

With over 500 staff, Picsolve has offices in Europe, USA, Hong Kong and New Zealand.

For more information: www.picsolve.com

About Fidelity Equity Partners
Established in 2007, Fidelity Equity Partners manages a $500 million international private equity fund focused on investing in established, high-growth midsized businesses in North America and Europe.

Fidelity Equity Partners invests in established, high-growth midsized businesses with enterprise values between £25 million and £75 million ($50 million and $150 million) and growing organically at more than 10 percent per year.

The firm is particularly interested in businesses that use information and communication systems to drive growth and competitive advantage, and those that can accelerate organic growth through acquisitions. Its investments typically span a range of sectors, including software, business, financial, consumer and healthcare services, as well as the information and communications systems industries themselves.

Picsolve is Fidelity Equity Partners’ third European investment by its London office, which was launched in September last year.

For more information: www.fidelityequitypartners.com