Daisy Group agrees £494m takeover deal by CEO

Telecoms firm Daisy Group has agreed a £494 million takeover deal with a consortium led by the firm’s CEO Matthew Riley to take the company private.

The consortium, which includes Toscafund Asset Management, Penta Capital and Riley, came to an agreement to buy the firm for 185p per share, ending three months of negotiations.

CEO Riley said that the deal “positions the company for its next phase of growth in the UK telecoms and IT sector".

Daisy Group provides a range of telecoms and internet services predominantly to small and medium businesses in the UK. It has spent around £280 million buying out 22 firms since it listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2009, including a deal to take over part of the failing 2e2 business last year.

According to TechMarketView analyst, Kate Hanaghan, the buy-out agreement is likely to precede a major overhaul of the company which has struggled with profitability in recent years.

“Once Daisy has de-listed, we would expect some quite ‘major surgery’ to happen behind the scenes, with management indicating it will pursue larger acquisitions than it has undertaken in the past,” said TechMarketView analyst, Kate Hanaghan.

“With this will come the need to raise more debt, and a probable increase in pressure on cash generation - both of which would not be welcomed by shareholders if Daisy were still a public company.

“However, Daisy is going to have to do more than just get bigger and bigger...it is going to have to find a solution for countering the areas of decline in its legacy businesses (e.g. voice). And doing that is going to take guts and time; this is not a quick fix.”

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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