LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, has invested £13 million in Hybrid, a British provider of digital solutions to the higher education and technology sectors.

The exact terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Hybrid has an international client base which includes higher education institutions such as the University of Bristol, Australian National University and Columbia University in New York, in addition to global tech brands such as Autodesk, Cisco and Verizon.

Hybrid provides a full suite of digital marketing services, including campaign development, media planning and buying, content creation and data analytics. The company also owns and operates a number of prominent web brands, including Study International, U2B, Tech HQ and Tech Wire Asia. With offices in Bristol, Kuala Lumpur and Sydney, Hybrid employs more than 70 people worldwide.

The investment was led by LDC’s head of southwest and Wales, Dewi Hughes, and investment directors Oliver Schofield and Stefan Gunn. Hughes and Schofield will join the board as non-executive directors.

As part of the transaction, Hybrid has appointed “industry pioneer” Jerry Buhlmann as non-executive chairman. He brings more than 30 years’ experience in media and advertising to the business, having previously been chief executive of Aegis Group PLC and then Dentsu Aegis Network.

Hughes said: “With the increasing global use of digital media, there is a significant opportunity for digital marketing agencies that can engage specialist audiences. The team at Hybrid has a strong track record of innovation and growth, an established international network and a passion to provide market leading outcomes for its clients.”

LDC was advised by EY (financial and tax advisory), Womble Bond Dickinson (legal), BDO (financial and tax due diligence) and Plural (commercial due diligence).

Hybrid was advised by Sequence (advisory), Royds Withy King (legal) and Bishop Fleming (financial and tax).

Date published: 23 June 2021

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