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Trustmarque starts fresh chapter under OEP ownership

Sale by previous owner Capita is completed, giving the firm the chance to talk about its ambitions for the future

Trustmarque has started life under its new owner, One Equity Partners (OEP), with the channel player saying it is looking forward to flexing its muscles in the mid-market channel space.

The £111m deal was first announced in January as Capita decided to sell the business off to One Equity Partners six years after picking it up. That figure could rise to £115m if certain conditions are reached and if the deal gets the green light.

The deal has now gone through and gained the necessary approvals and will allow Trustmarque to continue as an independent brand focusing on delivering services to its core public and private sector customers.

“After over 35 years in business, this is a momentous day in the rich heritage of Trustmarque,” said Trustmarque managing director Ben Richardson. “I know I speak for our 400-plus colleagues when I say that we are exhilarated at the prospect of beginning a new chapter with One Equity Partners.

“We will be an independent business with the support of a shareholder that is committed to investing in the business to build a broader platform of customers and capabilities. This presents us with a great opportunity to invest in our brand and to affirm our position as one of the UK’s most prestigious value-added resellers.”

One Equity Partners has a track record of working with firms that sell services around software and cloud and Andrew Dunn, managing director of the investment firm, said it had gone for the business because it believed there were growth prospects to be tapped into.

“We believe there are significant opportunities for us to drive Trustmarque to further capture market share by innovating through cloud and digital capabilities for its public sector and healthcare clients,” he said.

There was also a hint from Dunn that now the business has access to a strong financial backer, it could be more aggressive in the market.

“Based on our knowledge and past investment experience, we see an opportunity to accelerate this growth by driving the consolidation of the highly fragmented market of UK mid-market IT system houses, and we look forward to partnering with Ben Richardson as managing director and Vishu Passi as strategy execution director on delivering these plans,” he said.

Capita has been divesting parts of its business to focus on core activities and decided that the time was right to offload Trustmarque, which reported net revenues of £122m and pre-tax profits of £16m for the year to 31 December 2020, and its gross assets were £240m at 30 June 2021.

Back in June 2016, Capita forked out £57m to acquire Trustmarque from its parent company, Ardbid, with a view to adding the firm’s licensing and software knowledge to its portfolio.

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