South: Quantuma leads on MBO of Miles 33

Business advisory firm Quantuma has led the management buyout of Miles 33 Group from Ares Capital. The deal was backed by Ethos Partners and Santander.

Founded in 1976 and based in Bracknell, Miles 33 is a supplier of editorial and advertising management software to the media and publishing industries. The company also provides wider corporate marketing automation software to agencies.

The management team, led by Mike Moore, is well positioned to attain its growth plans supported by Ethos Partners. Growth will be driven by the further rollout of the recently developed Gemstone software, as well as increasing sales of its Wave2 software in the wider corporate market.

The US is seen as a significant growth opportunity, with Miles 33 already counting The Boston Globe, Maine Today Media and Record Journal amongst its clients. In addition to its Bracknell headquarters, the business currently has offices in in the US, Italy and Malaysia, and employs over 80 people, generating EBITDA in excess of £3 million.

The Quantuma team, led by partner Ian Barton and director Adrian Howells, provided advisory services to the management team, including identifying both its equity partner in Ethos, and debt funding from Carmen Peacock and Peter Abel of Santander.

Ian Barton said: “This deal highlights the benefits of partnership, and the tenacity by both funders and management in delivering this transaction. Having advised the management team prior to their first buyout in 2005, I have seen it develop its software and geographical footprint and adeptly position the business as one of the global market-leaders in its product offering. We are delighted to have helped management achieve its ambitions alongside Ethos in their first investment.”

Mike Moore, chief executive officer at Miles 33 commented: “We are looking forward to the next chapter in Miles 33’s history, to roll out our new products to provide best-in-class solutions and service to our customers. We expect to see a new phase of growth organically, and we will continue to look at acquisitions to expand our reach. After a period of ownership transition, we are delighted to have true long-term funding partners who are keen to support our strategy.”

Julian Carr, principal at Ethos Partners said: “Quantuma has provided fantastic support and demonstrated a real depth of understanding of the business, drawn from Ian Barton’s long association with the team since 2005, which enabled us to appreciate the potential of the business and also to raise debt funding for the MBO in short order from Santander. We really appreciated the consistent advice and support to get the deal to a close, and we look forward to working together again.”

Quantuma has strengthened its corporate finance practice during 2018, supporting mid-market clients and investors looking for lead and debt advisory services. Recent transactions, which together exceed £200m in value, include the disposal of TRS to an MBO backed by Rutland Partners, the disposal of ILG to Yusen Logistics, the disposal of BOFA International to Donaldson and two acquisitions by Whistl in the delivery and e-fulfilment sectors.