LDC, a private equity investor and part of Lloyds Banking Group, has supported Duncan Strike and his team in the management buyout of Message Direct, a leading outsourced communications solutions provider to SMEs and large corporates.

Founded in 1994 and based in Ferndown, near Bournemouth, Message Direct has over 7,600 customers providing operationally critical 24/7 support in dealing with customer leads and enquiries.

The business, which operates a number of brands including Message Direct, Jam and Verbatim, has achieved material organic and acquisitive growth during the last two years under the leadership of Duncan Strike and his team.

LDC’s investment will support the management team’s organic growth plans, its buy-and-build growth strategy, and enable investment in new transformational technology.

As part of the transaction, experienced board members Pete Opperman and Gary West are joining Message Direct as chairman and non-executive director respectively.

“We have a passionate and dedicated team committed to providing the best service possible which is reflected in our excellent customer reputation,” said Strike. 

“The outsourced call answering services market in the UK is expected to continue to grow, driven by increasing call complexity and a preference for human interactions, supported by emerging technologies. 

“With our leading quality service and strong investment in technology, we are well-positioned to capitalise on this growth.

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“Over the last three years, LDC has taken the time to get to know our business and, with its track record of supporting companies to deliver successful acquisitive growth strategies, we’re looking forward to partnering with the team throughout the next stage of our journey. 

“Their experience will also be valuable as we also look to integrate new technology such as artificial intelligence alongside the human voice element in the years to come.”

John Gassner, investment director at LDC, said: “Message Direct is a leading provider of outsourced telecommunication solutions with an ambitious management team, operating in a growing and fragmented market. We are excited to support Duncan and his team as the business expands through further acquisitions, enhanced customer growth and investment in technology.”

LDC has a successful track record in the business services sector, having made more than 25 investments into businesses with a combined enterprise value of more than £2 billion since 2012.

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