The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and LDC – the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group – have agreed a partnership to support the future growth of RIBA Enterprises Ltd, the commercial arm of the RIBA which trades as NBS.
NBS is a provider of technology, content and data services to the architectural, engineering and construction industries.
Headquartered in Newcastle, it employs more than 200 people and, for the financial year ending December 2017, recorded a turnover of £20.5m.
The RIBA is the global professional body for architects and a registered charity with one of the largest and most diverse architectural collections in the world. LDC is investing £31.8m for a significant minority shareholding in NBS.
Together, the RIBA and LDC are supporting the business, led by the current CEO, Richard Waterhouse, and existing management team, in delivering its future product development and international growth plans.
RIBA’s chief executive, Alan Vallance, said: “The RIBA is pleased to have secured a fantastic deal on behalf of our members.
“It is recognition of the success of our commercial activities to date, and the international strength of the brand and products our team has developed.
“This deal provides welcome investment in NBS and enables the Institute to focus on delivering our ambitious strategy in support of the architecture profession in the UK and internationally.
“We are delighted to be working in partnership with LDC who we selected based on their extensive pedigree including their experience working in the technology sector.”
RIBA member services and support are said to be unaffected by this announcement.
RIBA was advised by KPMG and Womble Bond Dickinson. LDC was advised by Deloitte and Addleshaw Goddard. NBS was advised by PWC.
RIBA’s president, Ben Derbyshire, added: “This is an exciting moment for the RIBA and the culmination of a huge amount of work, time and careful consideration by our trustees, executive and expert advisors.
“We have created a highly attractive market-leading business, and as an Institute prioritising support for our members and the delivery of our wider charitable objectives, the trustees agreed it is the right time to work in partnership with an experienced investor to ramp up its potential.
“LDC’s investment provides the injection needed to move NBS to the next level, and our members will continue to benefit from our ongoing involvement in the business.”
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