Temple Bright Drives £10m European Transport Systems Deal For TDC

TDC Systems, a specialist in advanced transport systems that sells across the world from its Weston-super-Mare HQ, has been acquired by Norwegian electronic toll collection business Q-Free.

The deal is expected to be worth £10m, if performance targets for 2014 and 2015 are hit. The initial consideration is £5m – made up of £4m in cash and £1m through a share issue.

TDC Systems has sister UK and Australian operations, both of which are included in the sale; it also has an office in Malaysia. The business, set up 16 years ago by founder and MD Mark Phillips, employs 40 staff and runs a round-the-clock operation for customers in 50 countries.

The Weston-based business is an industry leader in the research, design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of intelligent transport systems. These include advanced weigh-in-motion systems to monitor truck weights without the need for vehicles to stop, traffic counters and classifiers, journey-time monitoring systems, air-quality monitoring systems, and detection systems for pedestrians and cyclists.

The founder Phillips will remain on in the business and said of the sale: “Becoming a part of Q-Free will further strengthen our market leadership. All employees are very enthusiastic about the opportunity to become part of a much larger international operation with a global network. The additional market exposure and availability of resources will contribute to the further expansion of our business.”

Jonathan Poole, a partner at Bristol law firm Temple Bright, oversaw the cross-border deal for TDC, while Q-Free was represented by the top-tier US law firm Jones Day.  Robbie Orr of accountants Brooking, Ruse & Co also advised Phillips.

Poole said: “This is a great deal for both sides. It crystallises the value that Mark Phillips and his staff have created in TDC over the past one-and-a-half decades, and opens up new opportunities for TDC and Q-Free, because the businesses are so complementary.

“Automated and electronic transport management and monitoring is a growing area for investment around the world, with many different facets to it. There’s every reason to believe TDC, under the umbrella of Q-Free, will continue to thrive, and that Q-Free’s move into these complementary markets will pay off very quickly.”