Home Business Focus Group founders dial up £800m sale to private equity firm Hg

Focus Group founders dial up £800m sale to private equity firm Hg

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The sale will value the stakes of founders Chris Goodman and Ralph Gilbert at well over £100m, Sky News learns.
City editor
Wednesday 10 April 2024 12:32, UK
The founders of a business telecoms and IT services provider are on the brink of toasting a nine-figure windfall after entering advanced talks to sell it to one of Britain’s leading private equity firms.
Sky News has learnt that Focus Group is close to signing a deal to sell a majority stake to Hg Capital, the investor known for its successful bets on software and technology companies.
City sources said on Wednesday that the transaction would value Focus Group at just under £800m including debt, making it the latest addition to the ranks of Britain’s private company unicorns – a reference to its new $1bn valuation.
The deal will see founders Chris Goodman and Ralph Gilbert’s combined equity stake of more than 50% valued at well over £100m, although they are both expected to reinvest part of their proceeds in the business.
The company has more than 30,000 customers spanning a range of industries.
In 2020, the two founders sold a 25% stake to Bowmark Capital, another private equity firm, at a valuation of about £225m.
It was unclear on Wednesday whether Bowmark would roll over its stake as part of the deal.
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Insiders said a number of other private equity firms, including Bain Capital, had also explored offers for Focus Group.
Bankers at Houlihan Lokey are advising Focus Group on the deal.
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Hg and Mr Goodman both declined to comment.
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