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Trustmarque starts mid-market growth plan with Livingstone buy

Firm talks of taking the first step as it signals ambitions to make a greater impact in the UK

Trustmarque has moved for software and cloud asset player Livingstone Software as it adds more depth to the offering it can put in front of customers.

The deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, is one of the first major moves made under the ownership of One Equity Partners (OEP), which picked up Trustmarque in January 2022 after Capita decided to sell off the business six years after picking it up.

When it made the move for Trustmarque, OEP made it clear that it would be prepared to flex its financial muscle and help the business expand, seeing growth opportunities emerging in the mid-market where the business operated.

The first sign of that strategy in action comes with the Livingstone deal, which adds a business with 150 staff and its own digital intelligence platform serving a range of public and private sector customers.

Trustmarque has described the acquisition as a “first step” in an ambitious growth strategy to drive its position in the UK mid-market space.

“This acquisition will enable us to leverage the data-driven knowledge of Livingstone to benefit Trustmarque’s customers. Together, we are ready to collaborate to deliver superior transparency and control over our customers’ IT investments,” said Ben Richardson, CEO of Trustmarque.

The firm already has a presence in the software asset management (SAM) market, but the move for Livingstone will bolster that, as well as adding more cloud and licensing support for customers.

Trustmarque chairman Torgrim Takle said the Livingstone deal was “an extraordinary growth opportunity” for the company because it would become stronger and more adaptable thanks to the addition.

“I’m confident that our strengthened combined capabilities will further support the cloud and digitisation agenda of our key technology partners, particularly Microsoft and Cisco, while delivering an enhanced value proposition to all our collective customers,” said Takle. 

The plan is for Livingstone’s senior management team and staff to stay with the business following the transaction, and users will be encouraged to continue to talk to their existing contacts.

Chris Allan, CEO of Livingstone, said there would be growth prospects as a result of the two operations coming together.

“Our combined expertise will create unrivalled end-to-end services across the software lifecycle for our customers. In Trustmarque, we recognised a partner with the same vision as ours: a commitment to ensuring our customers buy what they need, secure their environment, and renew it optimally,” he said.

Trustmarque is not alone in expanding through mergers and acquisitions. This week has already seen consolidation, with EvolveODM buying 4G Voice and Data and FluidOne picking up managed services player Highlander Computing Solutions.

Despite talk of interest rate rises, inflationary fears and the prospect of a recession, the private equity community has also remained committed to the channel.

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