Gowling WLG's corporate and banking team, supported by a number of experts across the firm, has advised the shareholders of one of the UK's largest privately-owned ICT managed solutions providers, GCI Managed Services Group, on the sale of a majority stake in the business to Mayfair Private Equity Partners. The deal will see core management team members retained for their expertise and input. The incumbent equity investor BGF, a shareholder in the business since its investment 2012, has realised what was an extremely successful investment and a key driver in GCI's success, by making a full exit.
With a turnover approaching £100m and an impressive technical capability underpinned by multiple vendor certifications, GCI is undoubtedly a front-runner of the ICT services sector and has a strong customer and partnership base, with customers including Sunlife, Shelter, Prospect Union, Dimensions, Parliamentary Digital Services, Trafford Council, University of London, FieldFisher, Keoghs, Marie Curie, Yamaha WorldSBK, Merlin Entertainment and Center Parcs. The group has a focus on delivering high quality customer service, by working closely with key partners (such as Microsoft) to create tailor made ICT packages to fortify each customer's business in accordance with their particular needs.
GCI has made a number of strategic acquisitions over the last few years, to strengthen not only its ICT offering to customers but also the growth and development of the GCI group. Mayfair's investment also includes the formation of a new strategic fund worth over £60 million, providing GCI with significant financial firepower to finance future strategic acquisitions that are the right fit for the group and its customer base.
Gowling WLG used its corporate finance and technology-led expertise to ensure that the deal reflected the current strength of the business, as well as its capacity for future growth under Mayfair's new investment. Commenting on what this sale means for GCI's business concerns and the wider ICT market moving forwards, Chris Towle, the Gowling WLG partner who led on the deal, said:
"This sale is representative of the level of interest being shown by the private equity community in fast-changing technology and the technical infrastructure required by business clients- now more than ever. We were able to work closely with the shareholders to provide advice which was not only commercially driven but also tailored to, and focused on, the group's strength and structure, whilst also ensuring that the agreed deal progressed smoothly so that Mayfair's investment and future involvement could be achieved within the required timescales. The precise nature of the advice offered is very much a cornerstone of the Gowling WLG service and one that continues to make me proud of every aspect of advising on this complex, but highly successful, deal."
Chris Towle was assisted by Rachel Mobberley, Christopher Letters, Navin Prabhakar, Richard Crawley, Tom Rank, James Whybrow, Emily Snell and Susannah Fink.