Dunedin has announced the sale of Blackrock Programme Management (‘Blackrock PM’), an award winning professional services firm that provides construction consulting and expert witness services for large, international construction and engineering projects, to its Management Team, with debt and equity financial support from Intermediate Capital Group (“ICG”). Given an enterprise value of £ 161.5 million, the sale achieved 2.8x money for Dunedin after two years and four months and represents a 60% IRR.
This is Dunedin’s second exit this year, following the sale of Steeper Holdings Limited in February 2017. The exit also maintains the momentum behind Dunedin’s growing professional services portfolio, coming just four months after it backed Forensic Risk Alliance, its third investment in the high value consulting space.
Dunedin invested in London-headquartered Blackrock PM at the end of March 2015. Since then, the Company has grown its team significantly, including doubling its number of testifying experts. In the past two years, revenue has tripled from £9 million in 2014 to £26 million for the financial year ending October 2016.
International sales growth has been a major feature of Blackrock PM’s expansion, capitalising on a global construction market that is valued at $8.5 trillion. Having established an office in Dubai and opened up new markets in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia, the Company increased its international sales by 221% during Dunedin’s investment period.
In recognition of its outstanding growth in overseas sales, Blackrock PM received The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the “International Trade Category” in 2017 and was also ranked at No 36 in the eighth annual Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 this year.
Another important contributor to Blackrock PM’s growth over the last two years has been its commitment to developing and attracting world class expertise. It has actively incubated and developed talent from within its own resources, recruited additional technical experts and expanded its capabilities in finance, operations and HR.
Blackrock PM is currently advising on international construction disputes valued at around £125 billion and past projects include the Shard in London and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
Simon Rowan, Partner at Dunedin, said: “The key to Blackrock PM’s exceptional growth over the last two years has been its commitment to developing genuine world class expertise. It is a great example of a business successfully exporting first rate professional services to overseas markets. It has been an absolute pleasure to work in partnership with such a talented team, from the Board all the way through the organisation. The professionalism, energy and culture at Blackrock sets it apart from the competition and will ensure it remains on course for future success. We wish the team the very best as they embark on the next chapter of their growth story.”
Blackrock PM’s founder, David Barry, said: “During our partnership with Dunedin, we have transformed the company from a boutique consulting practice that was reliant on a small number of experts to a forensic consulting business with real critical mass, capable of handling the largest and most complex projects across the globe. Blackrock now has 23 expert witnesses as well as a large and highly skilled team of support professionals. We are excited to be embarking on our next growth phase with ICG, who have a successful track record of partnering with management teams, which will see us expand both the geographies in which we operate and the suite of services that we provide, while maintaining the high-quality core services offering which has been the bedrock of our development thus far.“