Pendle entrepreneur Matthew Riley sells stake in business for £1bn valuation

Daisy Group founder Matthew Riley has agreed the sale of a stake in Digital Wholesale Solutions to a private investor with a £1bn valuation with a view to IPO on the London Stock Exchange.

Daisy founder Matthew Riley
Daisy founder Matthew Riley

The move secures more than 200 jobs at the company’s headquarters in Nelson, and also opens the door to future growth and development of the business.

DWS, founded in 2007, was previously known as Daisy Wholesale. However, in May 2019 it was separated out under the leadership of CEO Terry O’Brien and rebranded Digital Wholesale Solutions.

O’Brien will remain in post, leading the business with the support of his existing management team.

The business will continue to operate its hugely successful, clear and simple, customer-first, channel focused model.

Daisy founder Matthew Rile will remain chairman of the business.

Mr Riley commented: “We made the strategic decision to separate DWS from the Daisy Group over two and half years ago in order to allow the relevant divisions to concentrate on growth.

“This coupled with the simplifying of how we go to market has enabled DWS to gain market leading organic growth.

“The opportunity for the channel to take more share of the UK market over the next five years is unprecedented.

“It was very important that jobs were secured within the deal and am proud to say that this is the case, with a lot of scope for further development and recruitment down the line. It really is fantastic news for the Lancashire area.”

Mr O’Brien added: “The sale is brilliant news for DWS, brilliant news for our staff, vendors and most importantly brilliant news for our partners.

“From the get-go, it was clear that Inflexion Partners shared our excitement about the UK channel community and the huge potential for growth as SMEs increase their investment in digital technology.

“I’m delighted that they are joining our team of investors where we are obsessed with building a great channel-only business, delivering great products and a great experience for partners through a great platform.”

A spokesman for IFX said: “DWS is a great fit for Inflexion’s portfolio. There are many things that we like about the business; it is a strong, growing, entrepreneur-led business, operating in a resilient sector, delivering recurring revenues on a proprietary software platform, with an excellent management team and an excellent reputation and high customer satisfaction.

“This is a perfect recipe for the public markets; Inflexion has long experience in backing entrepreneurs with pre-IPO fund raising and we are looking forward to working with Terry and his team to de-leverage DWS and advise and guide as it prepares for a successful IPO.”