One of the region’s best regarded businesses has been sold to a Swedish company in a multimillion-pound deal backed by two private equity firms.
NBS, which is based in Newcastle’s Old Post Office, was established as the commercial arm of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), and provides technology for the architectural and construction industries.
Now RIBA and LDC, which invested in NBS two years ago, have agreed the sale of the company to Byggfakta Group, a data and software provider headquartered in Sweden. The deal – on disclosed terms – has been backed by private equity firms Stirling Square Capital Partners and TA Associates.
LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, invested £31.8m into NBS in 2018, allowing it to make acquisitions in Australia and Canada.
NBS has seen significant revenue growth over recent years and has invested in building the suite of products available to its customers.
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.”
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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.
The transaction was led, on behalf of LDC, by chief executive Martin Draper and Head of Yorkshire Dan Smith.