Souter Investments takes majority stake in £81m turnover Stone Group
A majority stake in an £81m-turnover IT services provider Stone Group has been acquired by Souter Investments in an equity and debt refinancing of the business led by chief executive Simon Harbridge and its management team.
The deal for Stafford-based Stone Group, which was founded in 1991, has provided an exit for private equity investor RJD Partners (RJD), which first bought into the company via a management buyout in 2008.
Stone Group has assisted thousands of organisations from schools to universities, hospitals to government, small start-ups to large-scale corporate offices.
A number of RJD’s investors will retain an interest in the group having invested alongside Souter Investments in the new structure.
Harbridge said: “I am privileged to lead a fantastic team at Stone Group. We continue to grow strongly, adding net new customers in each of our vertical markets, while also developing our infrastructure and cloud solutions and services.
“This transaction represents an important and significant milestone for Stone Group. RJD has been a highly supportive partner for over ten years, during which the business has grown and matured.
“I am delighted that David MacLellan, chairman and founder of RJD, is continuing his involvement with us, investing alongside Souter and becoming our non-executive chairman.
“Souter share our vision for the group and will be a strong and dynamic supporter for the next stage of our journey.”
John Berthinussen, investment director at Souter Investments, added: “Stone Group presents an exciting opportunity for Souter Investments to back an experienced and successful management team, leading an established and significant technology business highly regarded in a fast-moving sector.
“We look forward to working with Simon and his team as they continue to drive organic growth and expand the mix of Stone Group’s technology, service and support offerings, with the opportunity for both to be accelerated by M&A and strategic partnerships.”