Services reseller ISG Webb has completed a £17m management buy-out (MBO) funded by a private equity group. The company specialises in IT roll-outs and maintenance in the retail industry.
According to Andrew Webb, group managing director of ISG Webb, the customer base was solid and the firm was in a strong position. "We have got to the stage now where we don?t get a great deal of resistance [to sales]," he said. "We can sit in front of customers and show them what we have done for others."
Royal London Private Equity (RLPE) has taken a majority stake in the company alongside Webb, group sales director Dan Cotton and group finance director Chris Christoforou.
Tim Thomas, an investment manager at RLPE, said of Webb, Cotton and Christoforou: "They have been with the business for a number of years and are really driving it."
Thomas explained the reasoning behind the MBO: "The vendors were no longer involved on a direct basis in the business. On top of this, the managers [Webb, Cotton and Christoforou] were looking to drive the next stage of growth."
Webb said that the MBO was also linked to a growing trend in the industry. "People in the industry are getting to the point now where they have set up a successful business and want to retire," he said.
"Our plan at the moment is to keep doing more of what we are already doing. Long term, we need to invest in telecoms and voice and data convergence."
Following the MBO, Peter Mac-Lean, who took IT services group Guardian IT to an Alternative Investment Market listing in 1998, has been made a non-executive director.
"There's been a renewed confidence in the sector, and also from corporate customers," said Thomas. "I think ISG Webb will be well placed to take advantage of that."
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