Darwin Private Equity closes first investment of 2013 through Esendex MBO

Esendex CEO Geoff Love is leading a management buy-out of the business using capital from Darwin Private Equity.

SMS services company Esendex is planning to build through organic and acquisitive needs following the backing of Darwin Private Equity.

The management team of Esendex is leading an £11 million buy-out, Darwin’s first investment of 2013.

Nottingham-based Esendex was founded in 2001 by Julian Hucker and Adam Bird and provides SMS services to businesses which are said to improve customer service, allow for communication with employees and increase operational efficiency.

The deal is being led by CEO Geoff Love, who will be joined by the co-founder and former CEO of MettingZone, Tim Duffy, as the new chairman.

Hucker and Bird say, ‘We are delighted that we have found a partner in Darwin who will continue to develop the business and we look forward to supporting Esendex in the next phase of its development.’

Both Hucker and Bird are realising their stakes in the business through the management buy-out (MBO) but will be remaining with the company as consultants.

Esendex’s services are used by 6,500 businesses around the world such as Ocado, Addison Lee and Virgin Media, and it currently has 60 staff.

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Nick Jordon, partner at Darwin Private Equity, comments, ‘Esendex has built a leading position in an attractive segment of the SMS market, supporting the innovative use of messaging across a blue chip customer base.

‘We look forward to working with Geoff and the rest of the team to further accelerate the growth of the business and expand in to new markets.’

New backer Darwin was set up by Derek Elliott, Kevin Street and Jonathan Kaye in March 2007. The private equity firm has now closed eight investments, including those involving aerospace parts business Bromford Industries, baby food brand Plum Baby and nutritional products company Maximuscle.

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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