PRESS RELEASE: 23 December 2019: Qbase, one the UK’s leading marketing data services providers, has completed a management buyout (MBO) to support the company’s target of 20-25% growth next year. Established in 1990, Qbase Data Services provides data management services to help organisations realise the value of the data that they hold.
The MBO will see four Qbase directors, CEO Rob Jones, Operations Director Tracey Barker, Director of Technical Solutions Nick Kelly, and Director of Consulting Paresh Patel, take a 77.8% majority ownership of the business, with the founders Ian and Anita Johnstone retaining a minority share holding. The founders will maintain seats on the board and act in an advisory capacity.
The new owners, led by Rob Jones who will retain his position as CEO, intend to continue to grow the business by 20% year-on-year with a target of reaching £10million turnover by 2025. With the value of data growing exponentially, and recent government statistics estimating that data-driven technologies will contribute over £60 billion per year to the UK economy by 2020, the team’s focus will be on broadening its product and sector reach.
Owner and CEO Rob Jones comments, “The market for data services is growing rapidly as companies around the world realise its potential and value as a business asset. As a data services provider, Qbase is in a strong position to take advantage of the opportunities the market currently provides. The aim of the management team, and all of Qbase’s employees, is to continue to grow on our current trajectory by building stronger and broader partnerships with data technology providers to deliver services across broad markets including manufacturing and retail.”
Founder of Qbase, Anita Johnstone, adds, “The management team at Qbase has helped to develop the company into the high growth business it is today. Collectively, all four have worked for the business for nearly 60 years and we’re confident that we leave Qbase in strong hands, poised for future growth. We’re retaining a minority stake as testament to the trust we have in the team to continue to develop the company.”
Qbase provides customers, which include HSBC, Arriva, Trust Ford (Retail), Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity, WWF and Everton Football Club, with data services that include data management and migration, data quality and governance, business analysis and insights, and marketing automation. In addition to its current focus on the charity and retail sector, Qbase intends to move into new markets that have big data needs, including manufacturing where it sees an opportunity to support the sector as its data utilisation grows.
The deal includes acquisition of Qbase’s client base, contracts, employees and assets. It will continue to operate from its head office in Warrington.
Advice on the MBO structure and funding was provided by a corporate finance team at Yorkshire accountants and business advisers, Garbutt + Elliott, led by partner, Tariq Javid. Funding was secured from HSBC and legal advice was provided by Gary Black, senior partner at Primas Freeman Fisher.
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