DiGiCo undergoes management buy-out

DiGiCo, a manufacturer of digital mixing consoles, has been bought by its management for £6.5 million.

DiGiCo, a manufacturer of digital mixing consoles, has been bought by its management for £6.5 million.

DiGiCo, a manufacturer of digital mixing consoles, has been bought by its management for £6.5 million.

The deal for DiGiCo, a supplier of consoles to the post-production, broadcast, live performance and theatre markets, consisted of an integrated debt and equity package from private equity investor Matrix.

Matrix provided all the external financing, investing £4.6 million and acquiring a significant minority stake in the business.

The new management team comprises chief executive Bob Doyle, managing director James Gordon, marketing director David Webster, technical director John Stadius and company secretary Helen Culleton.

Law firm Davenport Lyons provided corporate legal advice, led by Jeanette Gregson who said: “The real challenge of this transaction, as with most management buy-outs, lay in balancing the competing interests of the various parties involved.

“We were able to provide practical solutions and complete the deal within a demanding time frame to the satisfaction of all parties,” she added.

Having taken over the role of managing director from Doyle last January, this was Gordon’s first significant project in the role.

Gordon said: “We’ve always been a reactive and pro-active company that understands the marketplace we’re in. However, when you have external investors, there is a need to explain the ins and outs of decision-making processes and that can slow things down.

“The management buy-out removes that requirement and means we can focus more of our time on doing what we do best, making us an even more agile and focused company.”

Along with a number of plans yet to be revealed, DiGiCo will be putting a share incentive scheme in place for its employees. “It’s nice that as a modern company we’re able to reward the people that work with us and put in the extra time,” added Gordon.

Doyle said: “Lots of companies evolve as we did, it was necessary to introduce shareholders into the mix to make the initial purchase of the company back in 2002. But now, those whose hard work over the last five years has enabled the company to reach a position to where a buy-out was a reality, need to be rewarded with equity ownership”

Headquartered in Chessington and with a manufacturing facility in Glenrothes, DiGiCo was established in 2002 by Doyle and his team. It now employs 56 people across the two sites and has annual revenues of £8.5 million.

Jeremy Rayment, Alan Skinner and Simon Massey of Menzies acted as advisers to management, project-managed the transaction and advised on the tax aspects.

Marc Barber

Marc Barber

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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