Niche Cheshire printing business completes MBO

From left: Alexander Grant, Clare Lewis, Paul Dustain

The current leadership team at Widnes coding and marking specialists, DataLase, has acquired full independence for the company through a management buyout from SATO, a global provider of Auto-ID solutions, for an undisclosed sum.

With advisory assistance provided by international audit, accounting and consulting group, Mazars, and legal advice by Shoosmiths, the deal was led by the firm’s COO and CFO, Clare Lewis, CSMO, Paul Dustain and CTO, Alexander (Ally) Grant.

Completion took place on September 15.

Based in Cheshire, DataLase was originally acquired by SATO in December 2016.

The change in direction is centred on SATO’s strategic aim of concentrating resources on its auto-ID solutions business to build sustainable growth and enhance its corporate value, while DataLase looks to push forward with increased technological advancement and to further develop its photonic printing – printing with laser light – offering.

Recognising these differing objectives, the two sides were able to come to an agreement on the transfer of shares.

Oliver Hoffman, national head of M&A, Mazars, said: “It is a really positive deal for the business and benefits all parties.

“It has been great working with Clare, Paul and Ally, helping them transition from management into shareholders and I have every confidence the business will go from strength to strength under their ownership.”

Andrew Millar, corporate partner at Shoosmiths, said: “This was an exciting deal to be involved in and myself, Leah Cairney and Kendra McCullough were delighted to support such an insightful and knowledgeable management team.

“Clare, Ally and Paul clearly have a strong vision for DataLase and we share their belief that the potential for the brand is sky high.”

Clare Lewis, now chief executive, said: “With an excellent understanding of the business and an appreciation of its future direction, the management team can now continue on the path of new product commercialisation and growing the legacy business.

“This new era of independence will allow us to become more dynamic and agile in our approach and, with some exciting new developments on the horizon, we look forward to unlocking further commercial success for DataLase.

“My thanks to Mazars and Shoosmiths for their contributions throughout the process.”

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