At the time of our ownership, VPS Holdings Limited (“VPS”) was a leading provider of products and services for the protection and maintenance of vacant properties. Headquartered in the UK, the company operated in the UK, France and Holland, with smaller operations in Germany, Ireland, Italy, Belgium and Spain.
Providing a one-stop shop for vacant property needs, VPS delivered services such as cleaning and clearing, guardian services and manned guarding, alongside the rental of security products such as electronic steel doors and proprietary alarm systems.
VPS became known to TDR through our investment in Phoenix Group when, in 2007, its board asked us to manage their underperforming private equity portfolio, which consisted of a large number of assets including VPS.
Over the following years we gained an in-depth understanding of VPS and its major markets, and were able to clearly assess the management and operational improvement potential. In 2010 Phoenix decided to dispose of its private equity assets and appointed an external advisor to manage this process. Our significant prior knowledge of the asset gave us a clear advantage in the process.
What we did
Two TDR Operating Partners were deployed full-time in the company to ensure quick delivery of the operational transformation. A new management team was recruited and subsequently we worked alongside management on new product development, continued operational improvements and the integration of corporate acquisitions.
Throughout our ownership, we worked with the business to pursue and execute on buy-and-build opportunities across Western Europe. This resulted in the expansion of the business from five to eight European countries.
For detail of VPS’s US business, please see MCS Group.
How we exited
In October 2013 we completed the transformational acquisition of Mortgage Contracting Services (“MCS”), a US-based provider of property services on behalf of mortgage lenders. Concurrent with the transaction, VPS’s US business was separated from the European group structure and combined with MCS to create MCS Group.
By de-merging the group, we were able to position VPS for an exit. In July 2014, following a competitive sale process, we completed the sale of VPS to PAI Partners.
We continued to hold MCS Group until April 2017 when we realised the investment.