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DSP acquires Leeds-based Explorer UK

Enterprise IT managed services organisation DSP and Leeds-based Explorer UK, an Oracle consultancy, development and support provider, have been brought together to form one of the largest independent Oracle partners in the UK.

DSP is backed by Leeds headquartered YFM Equity Partners (YFM) which invested £5.3m in the business in 2018 to fund its £10m MBO led by Simon Goodenough, making it the sixth investment from YFM’s Buyout Fund I.

Since the 2018 management buyout, DSP has doubled turnover and profitability, and grown its contract base by 300 per cent. The deal, which included working capital provided by Santander Growth Finance, will see the combined group dominate the upper echelon of independent Oracle partners in the UK.

With offices in London, Nottingham and Basingstoke, DSP was founded in 1999 and has grown to a turnover of almost £10m with circa 40 staff. It is an enterprise data and managed services specialist that has established a reputation as a trusted technology partner for companies that want to invest in Oracle, Microsoft and Cloud technologies.

Based in Leeds, Explorer is also an Oracle Platinum Partner with circa 50 staff, and has over 25 years’ experience of providing award-winning database and infrastructure solutions, with particular renown in the field of Oracle Enginereed Systems and Cloud at Customer.

Bringing together the two complementary businesses will broaden DSP’s extensive data infrastructure capabilities to provide a wider range of consultancy and managed service offerings. Both organisations will continue to operate in the UK database technology and cloud/managed services market under their own well-respected brand names.

Explorer founder, Ian Thomason, joins the board of the DSP Group, with Simon Goodenough becoming Group CEO. The new combined group will continue to operate from DSP’s three offices, and Explorer’s Leeds head office. The deal will see DSP boost group revenues to over £20m,  increase profits substantively and provide a further platform for both organic and acquisitive growth.

Eamon Nolan, partner at YFM, said: “The acquisition gives the new group greater scale, more capacity for growth, the ability to compete for larger contracts and puts it in a strong position to take advantage of the huge opportunities available in the UK and globally. Since our investment two years ago, we have already seen impressive growth with profits doubling and its contract base trebling, and we expect to see further expansion, both through organic growth and acquisition.”

Simon Goodenough, CEO of DSP, said: “This really is a case of one and one makes three. It’s great news for our team, customers, partners and investors that we have been able to bring together two of the UK’s most renowned database management specialists at such a pivotal time for our industry.

“Our shared market knowledge and similar cultures make this an ideal fit, and together we have the scale and momentum to continue our ambitious growth plans.

“Explorer’s pedigree as an award-winning provider of enterprise grade Oracle solutions addresses our need to offer clients a variety of options, from ultra-fast on-premise database infrastructures to highly secure, integrated cloud environments, all managed by our global managed services delivery team.

“As a combined group, we will look to realise our joint objective of being the UK’s No.1 provider of enterprise-grade database and data platform services, whether on-premise or cloud, Oracle or Microsoft.”

Ian Thomason, managing director of Explorer, adds: “By combining two market leading specialists in their respective domains, we will accelerate our individual growth ambitions, resulting in a sum greater than its parts.

“As well as our shared and deep heritage with Oracle technology, customers from both organisations will benefit from capabilities spanning Microsoft Azure Services, APEX Development, Machine Learning and, of course, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. I am hugely excited by the next step we are all taking together.”

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