Private equity giants 'line up bids' for Daisy Group

A number of investment firms are apparently vying for Daisy's attention as the company looks to sell its reseller business, reports have revealed.

CVC and Providence Equity Partners are among the businesses wanting to buy the firm and will jump on the opportunity when confidential information about the sale is released to interested parties next month, according to Reuters,

Chats with potential suitors have already occurred, Reuters said, although nothing official can be arranged until UBS and Oakley Advisory - which have been taken on to arrange the sale - have released the confidential notes and have had conversations with every company expressing an interest.

Although initial conversations around the sale of Daisy Group suggested it would be sold to another communications business with a £1.5 billion price tag, the sale is unlikely to raise such an amount if it goes down the investor route instead, much to founder Matthew Riley's disappointment. In fact, a spokesperson for the company said Riley wouldn't be happy for the company, which he built up from his garage 17 years ago, to go for the predicted £1.1 billion to £1.2 billion sources said it is probably worth at the end of last year. However, it wasn’t suggested what kind of price Riley would be happy to sell his company for.

21/02/2018: Daisy 'to go on sale for £1 billion'

Daisy Group is on course to go on sale for £1 billion from as early as March, according to a report.

The telecoms VAR, one of the largest in the UK, apparently appointed UBS and Oakley Advisory to help it through the process towards the end of last year, though it also considered returning to the stock exchange to raise capital to help it double in size within five years, taking on BT.

However, it has now decided on a sale, according to the Financial Times. While it would like to close any deal within three months, the publication said, it could be later than that, depending on interest from potential buyers. Those rumoured to be in the running to make an acquisition include Vodafone and Virgin Media, which have both discussed buying the firm in the past.

Daisy Group has made a string of high-profile acquisitions in recent years, including the purchase of 46 smaller companies, up to the point it accepted a £500 million investor buyout and went private in 2014. After it pulled down its listing, it continued buying oher telecoms companies, including Phoenix IT and Alternative Networks.

The company has grown fast since it was privatised, with revenues predicted to be around the £120 million mark for 2017. This indicates a growth of almost 100% since it was listed on the stock exchange.

Daisy hasn't commented on the potential sale, although the company's CEO, Neil Muller did confirm reports the company was looking to grow at speed to take on its major rivals.

At present, Daisy Group has 1,400 resellers, selling to small businesses, while its direct sales to mid and large companies makes up 60% of its total sales, according to the FT.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.