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Sentio advises on secondary buy-out of Trustmarque Solutions

YORKSHIRE technology and software business Trustmarque Solutions has been bought for £43m in a management buyout backed by private equity firm Dunedin. The York-based business, which employs 180 people and has operated for more than 25 years, was sold by LDC in a deal which involved a number of leading Yorkshire-based advisers.

Sentio Partners Dave Irwin and Andy Miller, who have advised the company for over 10 years including the original sale to LDC in 2006, advised LDC and management and introduced the opportunity to Dunedin.

Trustmarque, which had turnover of £130m in the year to August 31, 2012, helps organisations license, deploy and manage technology from a wide range of developers including Microsoft, VMware, and McAfee. The business focuses on providing professional services that enable customers to make better usage of their IT resources, optimise IT performance and significantly reduce IT expenditure. Dunedin’s investment will enable Trustmarque to expand its service offering and correspondingly, its customer base.

The company operates from its HQ in York plus sites in Bracknell and Edinburgh and currently has over 1,200 clients including RBS, Lloyds Banking Group, Sainsbury’s and Capita. Public sector clients include the NHS, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Justice, HMRC, local authorities and NHS trusts throughout England, Scotland and Wales.

Scott Haddow, CEO of Trustmarque commented: “Dunedin’s investment is a key milestone in the evolution of the business. Trustmarque has developed significantly over the last four years. Our ambition now is to cement our position as an independent end-to-end technology services provider and the trusted adviser of choice for blue chip and large government enterprises.

“Dunedin took the time to understand our business, the journey we are undertaking and our long term goals. They share our passion and drive and recognise the opportunities that lie ahead. Dunedin’s DebtBridgeTM product meant that the deal could get done quickly, while ensuring certainty of delivery to everyone involved.”

Under LDC’s ownership, Trustmarque transformed from an IT reseller into a value-added provider of IT services, growing services-driven revenues to 33 per cent of turnover from a standing start, and its headcount rose from 110 in 2009 to over 180. In 2011, Trustmarque acquired Nimbus Technology Systems as part of its strategy to enhance its cloud-based services offering.

Steve Harrison, director at LDC in Yorkshire and the North East, said: “Trustmarque has developed into a market leader in value-added technology services. The transformation of the business is testament to the close working relationship that we developed with Scott Haddow and his team, and hard work behind the scenes to create a diversified business of significant scale in a highly fragmented market. We wish the business all the best in the future as it embarks on its next stage of growth with Dunedin.”