Esendex snaps up Collstream

Deal summary

Nottingham-headquartered SMS technology firm Esendex has acquired Derby communications services company Collstream, creating a group with a combined turnover of £25m. Whilst the financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, Esendex said it will open the company up to opportunities for further global expansion.

"This acquisition is all about growth," said chief executive Geoff Love. "The intelligent multi-channel messaging services that Collstream offers customers is something that over 7,000 Esendex customers around the world can now benefit from."

Collstream was formed in 2005 and has a strong presence in the debt collection agency market, providing millions of text messages, emails and voice messages on behalf of customers.

Ian Maxfield, who founded Collstream with Chris Harrison, added: "Esendex’s scale, expertise and proven track record mean that the Collstream team and technology will be able to develop and expand into new sectors and to grow internationally."

Harrison said: "We leave our customers in the best possible hands and this new combined business is going to lead the way for the industry."

The combined group will now have over 130 staff in offices in Derby, Nottingham, Barcelona, Lisbon, Vienna, Madrid and Melbourne.

The difference we made

We pride ourselves on building long-term relationships which was evident in all aspects of this transaction where the Dains Corporate Finance team had already proactively been working with Collstream for over 18 months up to the period of sale. We engaged with Collstream to implement a succession plan strategy to give Chris and Ian a structured vision for the business over the next 5 years with the aim of exiting towards the end of this time.

They were then approached by Esendex who had a strategic interest in acquiring Collstream as part of a buy and build plan in this sector. As Chris and Ian were only part way through their initial 5 year plan for the business our main objective was maximising shareholder value and projecting the exciting potential of the business to its fullest – with our already strong understanding and knowledge of their company from previous engagements this proved a relatively straight forward assignment.

Our detailed knowledge of Collstream meant that the team was prepared for due diligence and that there would be no areas that would provide a negotiation opportunity for the buyer following heads of terms. This enabled us to further protect shareholder value and run an effective and quick process with the buyer.

What we said

Roy Farmer of Dains Corporate Finance said “Collstream’s success has been built on providing a great technical service and customer experience. The Esendex team have exciting plans to develop the business and I have no doubt the group will go from strength to strength under their leadership. We would urge other companies to engage as early as possible with Dains as we can provide you with the expertise and assistance in ensuring that your business maximises it’s value."