The deal sees RJD Partners’ (“RJD”) second fund, which backed the previous buy-out in 2008, realise its investment. Certain individuals previously invested in that fund have invested alongside Souter in the new structure. Existing debt facilities have been refinanced with Shawbrook Bank.
Simon Harbridge, CEO of Stone Group, said: “This represents an important and significant milestone for the Group. RJD has been a highly supportive partner for over ten years, but now needs to close out its second fund. I am delighted that David MacLellan, chairman and founder of RJD, has accepted the role of Non-executive Chairman of Stone and has invested personally alongside Souter. Souter shares our vision for the Group and will be a strong and dynamic supporter for the next stage of our journey.
I am privileged to lead a fantastic team at Stone. We continue to grow strongly, adding net new customers in each of our vertical markets, while continuing to develop infrastructure solutions and services alongside our traditional hardware offerings and growing the value of each customer”
John Berthinussen, Investment Director at Souter Investments, said: “Stone Group presents an exciting opportunity for Souter Investments to back an experienced and successful management team leading an established and significant technology business that is 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 breadth of Stone Group’s technology, service and support offerings, with the opportunity for both to be accelerated by M&A.” John has joined the board as a non-executive director.
The Stone Team
Simon Harbridge, CEO; Tim Westbrook, Sales and Marketing Director; Adrian Frost CFO; Peter Berks, Procurement Director; Chris Hykin, Technical Services Director; Lawrence Richards, Operations Director.
About Stone Group
Originally founded as an Original Equipment Manufacturer, Stone has matured into one of the UK’s leading Value Added IT Resellers, retaining its own Stone branded hardware products within a broader portfolio founded on strategic partnerships with HP, Lenovo, Dynabook and Acer. The Group enjoys direct strategic relationships with Intel and Microsoft from its heritage as an OEM and a level technical skills, logistics and support through own facilities, vehicles and Stone employed engineers, far beyond those of the average reseller. Its market leading deployment and support services can be applied effectively across its entire product portfolio regardless of brand. Alongside its traditional hardware offerings, Stone has developed a full range of modern IT infrastructure solutions and services from the edge through networking and hybrid infrastructure to the cloud.
Stone’s credentials are validated through an unparalleled range of vendor accreditations and the strength of its solutions is demonstrated by the leading positions on all the major UK Public Sector frameworks – Stone is homegrown and rigorously tested alongside a range of multi-national competitors.
In 2009 Stone invested in its own inhouse IT Asset Disposal facility and is ADISA accredited with distinction and Government accredited to the highest level, placing it clearly in the top echelons of UK IT Asset Disposal service providers. Stone is fully committed to the circular economy and to providing true 360 IT asset lifecycle management services, sustainable by design and beneficial to the environment. Stone provides fully audited traceability of assets and the highest possible levels of data security for total peace of mind.
About Souter Investments
Souter Investments is one of the UK’s leading family investment offices specialising in private equity. Founded in 2006, Souter has invested in over 50 unquoted companies and currently has significant investments in approximately 25 businesses, acting either as the lead investor or as a co-investor with other financial sponsors.
Souter’s private equity portfolio includes Pet Network International, the leading pet supplies retailer in South East Europe; Global Risk Partners, the UK insurance intermediary group; Fullers Group, New Zealand’s largest maritime passenger operator providing commuter ferry services and leisure and tourism experiences on Auckland Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf; and Ashtead Technology, which offers fully integrated equipment solutions to the subsea and onshore environmental monitoring and inspection sectors.
During 2019 Souter Investments announced the sale of its interests in Alexander Dennis, Mobius Life, Howick and Eastern Buses and Mana Coach Services.
For more information please visit www.souterinvestments.com