Richard Tredwin is a serial business builder and former CEO of Middlewich-headquartered SRL Traffic Systems. In 2017, he saw the potential to build SRL Traffic Systems into a truly national provider.
Mr Tredwin said: “At that point, the business was 20 years old. It needed to diversify further into new products and equipment, invest in its systems, procedures and back office, technical and support teams to have a platform for growth. “Richard wanted to grow the business across the UK and Republic of Ireland, but knew that something needed to change to make that happen.
Richard had experience of working with a private equity investor before, and he chose to go down that route again. “With private equity behind you, you have the firepower to supercharge your business model and deliver your ambition, so I started to speak to potential partners,” he added.
A number of investors were very interested, but Richard chose the specialist that he trusted. He said: “LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, was consistent throughout the process, never wavering on its offer or timetable. That’s really important when dealing with shareholders that want a precise outcome. ”
The management team secured a £ 24m investment in September 2019. As part of the transaction, the team retained a sizable chunk of equity and remained in the driving seat of the business. “The transaction also allowed us to give more employees an equity stake in the business. I’m really proud of that, ”added Richard.
The pandemic threatened to throw a spanner in the works, however. “In March 2020, having just done the transaction, the business was structured to deliver an ambitious growth plan. Suddenly, I was faced with having to consider reversing the plans that we had put in place. ” Richard continued: “That was an enormous shock to the system. But, with the support of our investor, board and the management team, I resisted a kneejerk reaction, paused for breath, and within a matter of weeks we became key workers. We were helping to keep people safe on the roads, and were back on track, achieving significant and sustained profitable growth throughout. ”
Under Richard’s stewardship, SRL has launched a suite of new products and has become a truly national provider, with 30 depots placing the company within approximately two hours of every location across the UK. In just two years of partnering with LDC, the business increased capacity by 300%, and turnover more than doubled to over £ 37m. SRL now has an inventory of 13,000 products, 160 specialist vehicles and employs 180 people, up 30% on 2019.
Following SRL’s growth, in December 2021, the business attracted investment from 3i Infrastructure plc to support the next stage of its growth journey. Alongside this, Richard has stepped into a non-executive chair position. “It’s been a fantastic journey for all of us,” he said.
You can read more about Richard’s story and his partnership with LDC here