Daisy group take private deal led by CEO Matthew Riley

Listed telecoms business Daisy Group is set for future life as a private entity after current leader Matthew Riley tabled an offer for the business.

An offer for British technology company Daisy Group values the business at £494 million, after results for the year to date 31 March 2014 saw it post EBITDA of £57.9 million.

The acquisition is being led by Matthew Riley, who set up the business in 2011 as an alternative service provider to BT and then took it public through the reverse takeover of Freedom4 Group in 2009.

Since joining London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM), the business has used both organic and acquisitive means to grow.

The new deal is being made through a consortium of Riley, Toscafund Asset Management and Penta Capital, with Riley himself owning some 61 million shares in Daisy.

Riley says, ‘The company has enjoyed loyal support form its shareholders over the five years it has been quoted on AIM.

‘The offer provides Daisy shareholders with a cash premium today and represents a positive development for our 59,000 customers and continuity for our 1,500 employees; it also positions the company for its next phase of growth in the UK telecoms and IT sector, with the backing and strategic and financial guidance of Toscafund and Penta.’

Toscafund has backed Daisy since July 2009, while Penta has invested in similar telecoms and telecoms infrastructure businesses such as Six Degrees Group, SpiriTel and Wireless Infrastructure Group.

More on Daisy Group:

One investor set to recoup a sizeable windfall is fund manager Neil Woodford, who left Invesco Perpetual in October 2013 and made Daisy one of his early plays from newly-created Woodford Investment Management by snapping up a 4 per cent stake in May.

Daisy has made 22 acquisitions during its lifetime as a public company, with constant banking facility negotiations providing financial ammunition alongside fundraisings.

Riley was the recipient of the Dealmaker of the Year prize at the GrowthBusiness 2010 M&A Awards on the back of Daisy’s £204 million reverse takeover, ten acquisitions and £75 million three-year revolving credit facility.

Peter Dubens, executive chairman at Daisy, comments, ‘I would like to thank Matthew Riley and the management team of Daisy for their skill and hard work in implementing an acquisition-led strategy which has developed shareholders 185 pence per Daisy share compared to the placing price in the 2009 reverse take-over of 80 pence per Daisy share, an increase of 131.3 per cent.

‘When compared with the increase in the FTSE AIM All Share index of 27.5 per cent since admission, I believe this represents a good outcome for all Daisy shareholders.’

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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Telecoms sector