22/07/2008

Leading EPoS support company undergoes management buy-out

One of the leading UK support and maintenance companies for Electronic Point of Sale (EpoS) systems has been bought-out by its long-established management.


Cardiff-based Vista Support Services Group Ltd (Vista) has been sold by its parent company, DigiPos Store Solutions Group (DSSG), to Vista’s managing director, Brian Norman, and finance director, Richard Olds, in a significant undisclosed deal supported with investment from Finance Wales and HSBC. Vista provides support and maintenance to EpoS systems operated by retail and hospitality companies throughout the UK and has contracts with major blue chip companies including Lloyds Pharmacy, Spar, Peacocks, Londis, Vision Express, Game, Dunelm and many more.

With headquarters and technical facilities at the Pentwyn Business Centre in Wharfedale Road, Cardiff, the company was established in 1997 and has a network of more than 160 engineers and staff throughout the UK.

“The management buy-out agreement will allow Vista to independently explore new maintenance services across a wide range of retail vendors and will also be able to continue to partner with DSSG on the major UK clients already provided with on-site maintenance and repair services,” said Brian Norman. “This means Vista can aggressively pursue its goal of becoming the number one maintenance specialist in the UK within retail and hospitality sectors. We are excited about the prospect of operating as an independent company and growing our reputation for providing a high level of customer service and satisfaction.”

The company has received an undisclosed equity and debt investment from Finance Wales, a provider of commercial funding to SMEs in Wales, and an additional debt facility from HSBC.

Richard Olds said: “It was critical for us to identify the right investment for the management buy-out and we worked closely in securing a tailored package from Finance Wales and our existing bankers, HSBC, which resulted in the successful buy-out.”

Investment executives Chris Griffiths and Nick Larcombe led the deal from Finance Wales. “Finance Wales is pleased to have been able to tailor a funding package for Vista which will allow the company to grow through new and existing contracts with independent retailers as well as larger blue chip companies and corporations within the retail and hospitality sectors. We look forward to working with the management team in the future as they embark on this exciting opportunity,” said Griffiths.

Mike Kear, corporate banking manager at HSBC, added: “Vista provides an integral service to major high street retailers and hospitality companies throughout the UK. We are delighted to have been able to support Brian and Richard with the management buy-out and continue HSBC’s relationship with Vista.”

Commenting on the sale, Graham Worsfold, executive chairman of DSSG, said: “The management of all existing and future maintenance contracts in the UK will continue to be supported by the Vista team. The DSSG services group will also work with Vista to provide access to the expanded services capability at our Benelux-based European retail services hub. This means from a group perspective our UK and European retail clients will have total stability and also can now gain access to enhanced range of retail specific services for UK and international deployment. At the same time, Vista has the means to pursue its own expansion whilst continuing to provide maintenance support of our DigiPos Retail Blade technology.”

Advisors on the deal for Vista were Gambit and Geldards. Advisers to Finance Wales were PriceWaterhouseCoopers, PBD Consulting, Armstrong Craven and Hugh James.

Notes to the editor


DSSG


DSSG was founded in 1994 in the UK and today is a multi-national retail group that has installed successfully installed over 250,000 retail solutions via its wholly owned subsidiaries operating in 15 countries. Vista was acquired as part of the UK investment in IS Retail in 2000 and has grown its specialist field maintenance operations to employ over 120 trained engineering staff. RTC Ltd was acquired from NSB UK in 2002 and included the maintenance and services activities in the UK. The RTC business unit was subsequently absorbed into the two separate maintenance and services divisions now operated by Vista and separated under the terms of the MBO.

Vista Support Services Group Limited


Established in 1997 Vista Retail Support has a proven track record for delivering retail systems implementation and support services to our client’s complete satisfaction. Since its formation the company has achieved significant growth due to a continued investment of infrastructure and resources, enabling it to sustain a reputation for delivery of first class standards in customer service. Its significant credential is the volume of repeat maintenance and implementation services business it receives from existing clients. At its core, Vista Retail Support provides EPoS hardware maintenance support for a vast range of UK Retailers.

HSBC Bank plc


HSBC serves 15.6 million customers in the UK and employs approximately 48,000 people. In the UK, HSBC offers a complete range of personal, premier and private banking service, commercial banking for small to media businesses and corporate and institutional banking services. HSBC is Britain's most recommended big bank, and a wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc.