NCP to de-merge into two businesses

14 Mar 2007

National Car Parks (NCP), the UK’s biggest parking services company, and 3i today announces that it is to de-merge into two separate businesses.

After a period of rapid expansion and development following 3i’s investment, which has seen the company move successfully into new areas of transport services,  accompanied by an 18% increase in the number of employees, the business is to be split between the traditional car parking business (‘NCP’) and the quickly evolving outsourced services business (‘NCP Services’).

NCP Services is already the market leader in outsourced parking services and will also include NCP’s successful bus and coach operations, debt recovery and urban design consultancy. This side of NCP’s business has grown rapidly since its first contract win in 2000 and continues to do so.

The services company now has a turnover approaching £140m and employs almost 4,000 people. It operates a number of key government contracts across the UK, including recently won contracts for Northern Ireland Roads Service, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and the DVLA. It also runs the UK’s biggest parking contract, for Westminster City Council. 3i intends to remain principal shareholder in this business alongside management.

NCP, the iconic brand for UK car parks for over 75 years, continues to be the most successful car park operator in the UK. With 3i’s involvement it has benefited from considerable capital investment to install technology and keep the business at the forefront of its industry. This business is being acquired by Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund II in a £790m transaction providing NCP with a long term ownership structure.

Chris Williams, 3i Partner who led the transaction said: “This is evidence of the material difference private equity involvement can make to a business. NCP, led by an outstanding management team with great vision, has now exceeded expectations in its transition into a leading public sector outsourcing business.

We hadn’t planned to make any partial realisation at this stage, but with a business well ahead of its milestones, and strategically attractive to others, the board of NCP decided that Macquarie’s offer provided the right solution for developing both of the businesses further”.

Bob Macnaughton, current NCP Chief Executive, will become NCP Services Chairman. Ian Kavanagh, On Street Director of NCP, becomes NCP Services Chief Executive, and Chris Dobson, Off Street Director of NCP, becomes NCP Chief Executive.

 Commenting on the decision to separate the businesses, Bob Macnaughton said: “The rationale behind this move is to enable the two companies to better concentrate on their core skills.

NCP Services is a young company, starting in 2000, with an expansion into on-street parking enforcement. Since then, the business has grown rapidly and has broadened it service offering across enforcement, bus and coach operations, debt recovery and back office processing. This business is very firmly positioned as an outsourced service provider for the public sector. This is a rapidly growing market and we have a substantial pipeline of further new business opportunities. The future for the business is very exciting.”

3i and NCP were principally advised by Travers Smith, Deloitte and NM Rothschild.

ENDS

About 3i

3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital with operations in Europe, the United States and Asia. 3i is active across all stages of funding. From early-stage venture capital to growth capital, buyouts and infrastructure, 3i invests approximately €2bn a year in some of the most exciting and ambitious companies in the world. 3i is the only FTSE 100 company in its sector and has total funds under management of £7.0bn (€10.4bn).

About 3i Buyouts

3i’s buyouts business is a leader in the European mid-market.  We lead mid-market buyouts of companies valued at up to around €1bn, using insight from our local knowledge, international connections, and our sector teams. 

With over €8bn of funds under management and an existing portfolio of over 65 companies across Europe, 3i Buyouts invests in all sectors, with a particular focus on media, healthcare and business support services.

3i Buyouts recently raised €5bn, representing the largest fund in Europe dedicated to mid-market buyouts.

About NCP

NCP was first incorporated in 1931 as a parking business.

It experienced its major growth as an off street car parking business in the 1940s and 1950s, initially through converting town and city centre bomb sites into car parks
Its first move into on street parking enforcement started in 2000, with contracts to run on street parking enforcement in Durham and Lewisham.

Before separation, the NCP group was the market leader in off street car parking, airport car parking, paid-for rail car parking and on street parking enforcement. The separated businesses will remain market leaders in those categories.
It has since successfully moved into the broader services sector, and runs a debt recovery business, bus and coach operations -  including public routes for transport for London and aviation coaching at Heathrow and Gatwick – CCTV monitoring and notice processing.

In total the services business runs more than 40 contracts for local authorities, plus two national Government contracts, on behalf of the DVLA and the Northern Ireland Roads Service.