WestBridge supports DB Systems with growth plans

WESTBRIDGE Capital has led a £4m financing to assist DB Systems Limited with its future growth plans. 

Established in 1994, Tewkesbury-based DB Systems supplies state-of-the-art audio visual and IT equipment, interactive software and temporary network infrastructure to trade shows, large exhibitions and live events in the global events market.

The business was founded by David Bulley who continues as CEO, leading a strong operations team with many years’ experience in the events industry.

Sales and employee numbers have grown rapidly in recent years. The business now has annual revenues of £8m and 63 employees.  It supplies equipment to some of Europe’s best known events and venues, including Farnborough International Air Show, Mobile World Congress Barcelona and Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre, as well as technical support to trade show organisers across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

WestBridge Capital partner James Wakefield, who worked on the transaction with colleague Sandy Smart, said:

“This is exactly the type of well managed business we like to invest in.  It has a large number of long established customers who value its consistent provision of quality service. 

“We believe its market leading position provides a springboard for significant future growth. The additional capital will boost business development and allow investment in the latest audio visual equipment which will enable the business to accelerate its expansion plans.

“DB Systems is a robust and profitable business with a strong order book, enviable portfolio of customers and high level of repeat and recurring revenue.

“Despite a global market value of US$27bn, the sector is very fragmented so we will also be considering value-enhancing acquisition opportunities. Working closely with David and the management team, we’ve already identified a number of key strategic opportunities for the business over the next few years. 

“The structure of the transaction should prove mutually rewarding.  It means David will remain very much hands-on in the business, while the management team he has built around him will also have an ownership interest.

David Bulley said:

“This is a very exciting time.  I remain passionate about what we do and after years of carefully nurturing this business into a respected and trusted supplier, we now have a significant capital injection to help us realise our future growth potential.  

“We are particularly pleased to have backing from WestBridge Capital. I welcome their partnership approach to investment which means they deliver hands-on advice, guidance and support in a number of different areas.

Term debt of £1.25m has been provided by NatWest.  Transcend Corporate acted as corporate finance advisers.  Grant Thornton undertook financial due diligence. Lawyers for the transaction included Capital Law, who advised WestBridge Capital while Squire Patton Boggs advised David Bulley. CIL undertook the market due diligence review. Harrison Clark Rickerbys acted as legal advisors for the management team.