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Darwin Private Equity acquires Esendex for GBP11m

Darwin Private Equity has completed the management buyout of Esendex, a provider of mission-critical application-to-person SMS services to businesses, in a deal worth GBP11m.

Esendex’s services are used by more than 6,500 businesses around the world to improve customer service, communicate with employees, increase operational efficiency and generate sales.
Clients include Ocado, BAA Gatwick, ASOS, Addison Lee, Dun & Bradstreet, ASDA, and Virgin Media. Esendex offers a combination of web-based tools and the ability to provide clients with direct connectivity to their own systems through highly functional and flexible APIs.
Founded in 2001 by Julian Hucker and Adam Bird, Esendex has 60 staff, providing services in the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Australia, US and Germany.
Darwin is backing Esendex’s existing management team, led by CEO Geoff Love, and will look to grow the business organically and through acquisition in its existing markets and across Europe.  As part of the transaction, Tim Duffy, the co-founder and former CEO of MeetingZone, the conferencing and collaboration services provider, will join the Board as Chairman.
Love says: “Darwin’s assistance will enable Esendex to fully realise its ambition to become Europe’s leading business SMS provider. We expect to see our revenues double as we dramatically increase our share of the rapidly growing A2P SMS market.”
Hucker and Bird say: “We are delighted that we have found a partner in Darwin who will continue to develop and grow the business and we look forward to supporting Esendex in the next phase of its development. We would also like to thank our current investors who have supported the business over the last decade.” 
Hucker and Bird will continue to support the business as consultants and Hucker will be a non-executive director.
Nick Jordan (pictured), partner of Darwin Private Equity, says: “Esendex has built a leading position in an attractive segment of the SMS market, supporting the innovative use of messaging across a blue chip customer base. We look forward to working with Geoff and the rest of the team to further accelerate the growth of the business and expand into new markets.”
Advisers to the shareholders of Esendex were Aquaa Partners, Murphy Salisbury and Shakespeares. Darwin was advised by Smith Square Partners, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Greenwich Consulting (due diligence), Grant Thornton (due diligence) and Deloitte (structuring).

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