Communications solution provider undergoes MBO with external support

LDC, a private equity investor within Lloyds Banking Group, has facilitated the management buyout of Message Direct.

Based in Ferndown near Bournemouth, the company offers outsourced communication solutions to SMEs and large corporates, serving over 7,600 customers.

Led by Duncan Strike and his team, the business has experienced organic and acquisitional growth in recent years, operating under various brands, including Message Direct, Jam, and Verbatim.

LDC’s investment aims to support the management team’s growth plans, and buy-and-build strategy, and facilitate investment in technology.

The transaction includes the appointment of Pete Opperman and Gary West to the board as chairman and non-executive director.

The deal was spearheaded by LDC investment director John Gassner and investment manager Trystan Culle

Duncan Strike, CEO at Message Direct, said: “We have a passionate and dedicated team committed to providing the best service possible which is reflected in our excellent customer reputation. The outsourced call answering services market in the UK is expected to continue to grow, driven by increasing call complexity and a preference for human interactions, supported by emerging technologies. With our leading quality service and strong investment in technology, we are well-positioned to capitalise on this growth.

“Their experience will also be valuable as we also look to integrate new technology such as artificial intelligence alongside the human voice element in the years to come.”

John Gassner, investment director at LDC, said: “Message Direct is a leading provider of outsourced telecommunication solutions with an ambitious management team, operating in a growing and fragmented market. We are excited to support Duncan and his team as the business expands through further acquisitions, enhanced customer growth and investment in technology.”

HMT, Shoosmiths, FRP, PwC, and KPMG provided advisory services to LDC. Banking facilities were provided by Clydesdale Bank and HSBC. Steele Raymond offered advisory services to Message Direct.

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