UKMD, one of the UK’s leading hybrid mail specialists, has announced the successful completion of a management buyout from its parent company, DHL Parcel UK. The current managing director, Andy Barber, has led the deal to take UKMD independent. His experienced team will aim to create the UK’s undisputed leader in hybrid and digital mail services.
Our multi award-winning Corporate Finance team, led by Managing Director Laurence Whitehead, Director Craig Chamberlain and Corporate Tax specialist Gareth Peters, advised the management team from the outset of the discussions with DHL through to completion. The team assisted management in negotiating the deal price, preparing the business case, introducing equity funders, structuring the transaction and advising on the equity documentation.
Andy has led the hybrid mail division since its launch in 2009 and has overseen the growth of the division into one of the dominant market players. The hybrid market represents a huge opportunity, with under 20% of the 2bn item franked mail market currently served by hybrid providers. The existing management team will continue to drive UKMD forward as a standalone business. The transaction will be a seamless transition for customers and suppliers, with a strong and supportive relationship with DHL remaining in place. There will be no change for customers to any existing arrangements and services. Further investment in market-leading product and service developments will follow the completion of the deal.
The new business is supported by Mercia Asset Management PLC’s private equity business. Debt facilities have been provided by Thincats, the leading alternative finance provider to mid-sized SMEs.
Laurence Whitehead, Managing Director in our Corporate Finance team, remarked: “We are delighted for Andy. It’s been a genuine pleasure advising him on this deal and we look forward to watching him and his team grow and develop the business into the future. Mercia proved to be by far the most aligned equity partner for Andy and his team and, with their continuing support and guidance, we are confident that Andy and his team can really drive the business forward to continued success over the coming years.”
Andy Barber said: “I am delighted that Mercia have backed us, along with the financial support of Thincats. Owing to the excellent assistance from an expert set of advisors, we now have the chance to take this business forward to new levels and have some great plans which will unfold over the course of the next few months.”
Jill Williams, Investment Director at Mercia Asset Management, commented: “We were attracted by the growth of the business to date, the interesting market environment, and the opportunity to back an experienced and committed MBO team focused on accelerating and delivering further growth. This is an important management buyout transaction for Mercia’s private equity team as it is our first in the region, which is a key area for growth in the UK. I look forward to joining the board.”
David Parr, Regional Business Development Director at Thincats, added: “We are delighted to have been able to get to know the team at UKMD, and to understand their strategy and the impressive plans that they have for future growth. ThinCats specialises in supporting growing mid-sized businesses with ambitious management teams, and UKMD fits the description very well.”
Specific financing advice was provided by Dow Schofield Watts, led by Phil Tarimo with support from Simon Carter and Lynn Li. Hill Dickinson’s corporate team, led by Jon Gillow and Katy Oakes, provided buyside legal support throughout the transaction. Shoosmiths provided legal advice to the MBO team and corporate law firm Howes Percival advised DHL.
If you would like to know more about this deal or how we can assist you or your clients, please contact our Corporate Finance Partner, Lawrence Whitehead (https://www.macintyrehudson.co.uk/contacts/laurence-whitehead).