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Kondor set to be sold to private equity firm H.I.G.

Paul Withers
March 24, 2014

Chief executive Haycock links with European arm of Miami-based company to lead MBO of distributorKondor chief executive Robert Haycock is leading a management buyout of the company from its chairman Malcolm Bartlett, the company has confirmed.

Haycock (pictured left), who joined Kondor in 2004 from investment accountancy firm KPMG, has partnered with Miami-based private equity firm H.I.G. Europe, the European arm of H.I.G. Capital, to fund the purchase. The fee has yet to be confirmed.

Christchurch-based Kondor, which employs 200 people and had a turnover of £66.7 million in 2012, is understood to have been for sale for the past six years, attracting the attentions of several suitors including Avenir Telecom in 2008 and Exertis Micro-P in 2012 – sales that failed to materialised.

Safe hands

Haycock said: “Kondor is well positioned to deepen and broaden its client relationships. With H.I.G.’s support, we can ensure our customer offering continues to be the industry benchmark whilst we continue to grow.”

Bartlett (pictured right), who founded the firm in 1994 and is also its chairman, said he is confident he will be leaving the firm in good hands. “The senior management have been with me for over nine years and have built a team well positioned for international expansion.

“I am confident that H.I.G. is the right partner with the infrastructure to capitalise on these international opportunities.”

H.I.G specialises in providing capital to small and medium- sized companies which it views as having “attractive growth potential”. Since its establishment in 1993, it has invested in and managed more than 200 companies worldwide. It currently has investments in 80 companies with combined sales in excess of £18.4 billion.

The proposed investment in Kondor marks its first deal since announcing it has set aside a £693 million war chest (July 2013), to invest in European-based companies.

Market leader

H.I.G. Europe managing director Paul Canning said it was Haycock’s “ambitious” growth plans for Kondor, which include revenues rising above £100 million this year, that were key to the pair’s partnership.

“Kondor is the established UK market leader in this sector and management has ambitious plans to continue to expand both in the UK and internationally. This aligns perfectly with H.I.G.’s experience and expertise.”

Kondor ships more than 270,000 products to more than 18,000 retailers across the UK and parts of Europe each week.

Customers include EE, O2, Carphone Warehouse, Dixons, Tesco, Argos and John Lewis. It also supplies more than 50 brands, including Beats by Dr. Dre, Gear 4, Nokia, Samsung, Sennheiser and Sony.

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