Nottingham’s SDL Group has been named as the fastest growing private equity backed business in the Midlands.

The Chilwell-based property specialist took the top spot in the 2018 Private Equity Growth Barometer with an average growth rate of 69 per cent. The report was compiled by leading accountancy and business advisory firm BDO.

According to the new study, the average annual growth rate across the top 50 fastest growing private equity backed Midlands businesses was 18.3 per cent, compared to a UK annual gross domestic product growth rate of 1.3 per cent, meaning SDL Group far surpassed the Midlands average.

SDL Group has cemented its position as an industry leader in the property services sector, amassing an annual turnover of more than £100m. In the past two years, the firm has acquired a range of businesses including prominent auction specialists Graham Penny and CP Bigwood, expanding its services. Meanwhile, the firm has tripled its workforce since 2014, now employing over 600 people nationwide.

Commenting on the Private Equity Growth Barometer, SDL Group’s chief financial officer, Colin Anderton said:

“This is a major achievement for the Group and really demonstrates the strength of our people and services.

“Our growth has come from our ability to adapt and identify new opportunities in what has been a challenging economic and political climate. In 2016, we acquired the prominent auction specialists CP Bigwood and Graham Penny, and we also launched our own Auction Partners network, capitalising on what we see as the growing mainstream popularity of auctions.

“Our Property Partners franchise scheme for property management has also been a big success and recently celebrated its first birthday.

“Organic growth remains a key focus for us in 2019. We will be continuing to place our customers at the heart of every decision we make, with the aim of revolutionising their experience of property services.”

Andrew Mair, author of the report and partner at BDO, said:

“Our analysis clearly demonstrates that private equity investment provides businesses with the support to exploit growth opportunities and it is fantastic to see so many taking advantage of these opportunities in the Midlands.

“We are delighted to have recognised SDL as the fast growing PE-backed business in our 2018 private equity growth barometer and hope that they continue to thrive through 2019 and beyond.”

For more information on SDL Group, visit


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BDC 301 February 2023