Global Datacentre and Critical Environment specialists, Keysource Ltd, completes management buy-out

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  • Keysource Ltd (“Keysource”) – one of the world’s leading specialists in data centres and critical environments – has been bought out by its management team
  • The MBO has been backed by Tosca Debt Capital in a multi-million pounds investment
  • Term loan and revolving credit facility provided by specialist lender, Shawbrook Bank, supported the buy-out
  • Business is now primed for growth through increased demand from emerging technologies and an evolving digital world.

A global datacentre and critical environment specialist which provides critical IT infrastructure services to major international brands across a range of sectors has been bought out following a multi-million pounds investment.

Keysource Ltd, which has a turnover of £16m, was acquired by its management team for an undisclosed sum.

The management buy-out has been completed by Tosca Debt Capital with support from specialist lender, Shawbrook Bank, who provided term loan and revolving credit facilities.

Keysource is now primed to take advantage of continuing projected growth in the global Data Centre sector across both public and private sectors with emerging technologies accelerating demand in a fast-moving digital world. 

Stephen Whatling, Managing Director of Keysource – which has been operating for more than 40 years – said:

“This is a very exciting new chapter in the future of Keysource and one that positions us extremely well in a growing market.

“With the backing of Shawbrook Bank and Tosca, we can now take our business forward independently with the freedom and flexibility to grow the company, take advantage of market opportunities and realise its full potential.”

Keysource is one of the world’s leading specialists in the creation and management of data centres and critical environments. The company provides a range of services to support clients in the design, build and maintenance of data centre infrastructure, both “on premise” at a customer’s own site or at shared “co-located” sites.

The firm’s customer base is centred around several key industries. It involves work with ‘blue-chip’ technology firms, significant financial institutions and global international brands. The firm also works within academia, becoming a key partner to critical education institutions such as universities.

Keysource has also displayed strong resilience during the Covid-19 pandemic, carrying out a critical role for clients to help them maintain business continuity, robust IT infrastructures and critical data security.

Mr Whatling added: “We thrive in industries where data is complex and/or its safe storage is of utmost importance for reasons of reputation, research, financial value and public safety.

“Our services are integral to almost all businesses worldwide. For example, failure of an organisation’s IT system can have devastating consequences in terms of commercial impact, reputational damage and human safety.”

Tosca Debt Capital, headquartered in Manchester, has £330m of assets currently under management across two funds, with investments in over 20 UK SMEs.

Gary Davison, founding partner at Tosca Debt Capital, said:

“We’re excited to be able to support the management buyout and recognise the enormous potential that Stephen’s vision presents for the future of the business. The individuals at Shawbrook provided us with real confidence in the process and were supportive, helpful and available throughout. Being able to provide certainty, especially in a year like 2020, gives everyone involved the confidence to get the deal done.”

Shawbrook Bank, a specialist lender to UK SMEs, has a track record in supporting financial sponsors and management teams in completing acquisitions, MBOs, re-structuring and investment for growth – providing funding lines typically ranging from £1m to £25m. 

Sarah Laverty, Director in Shawbrook’s Corporate Lending team for the North West, said:

“Keysource’s management collectively have more than 200 years of sector experience and have delivered an exceptionally strong performance for the business – particularly against the Covid-19 backdrop.

“Keysource is a strong business with plenty of opportunity for growth, both organically and via buy and build. We are delighted to have supported Stephen and his team along with Tosca Debt Capital in the MBO transaction and look forward to working together during this next phase of growth.”

She added: “This MBO means that Keysource is primed for a successful new era and we wish the team every success in its future.”

Legal advice was provided by Shoosmiths LLP (Shawbrook), DLA Piper LLP (Tosca Debt Capital) and Hill Dickinson LLP (Keysource Management). Financial Due Diligence was completed by Dow Schofield Watts.