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BGF exits DOS after exceptional growth

BGF News 11.05.2020.

BGF has exited Direct Online Services (‘DOS’), the UK’s leading e-commerce retailer of kitchen worktops, following an acquisition by Broadview Holding. DOS will continue its successful growth strategy and European expansion, following several years of high growth.

BGF invested £3m in DOS in 2016 to support sales and marketing, new product launches and entry into the German market. Since then the business has grown from £22m turnover to £37m turnover, with the exit delivering a strong return for all shareholders.

Founded by father and son Martyn and Will Rees in 2009, DOS is an e-commerce-led multi-channel retailer of kitchen products based in Gloucestershire, selling direct to customers throughout the UK and Europe. DOS operates a number of brands, including Worktop Express.

In addition to the funding, BGF introduced David Cox as non-executive Chairman to the family-owned business. David has a wide range of experience in ecommerce and multi-channel businesses and is currently chairman of BGF-backed BVG Group and Ruroc. The partnership with BGF also enabled the founders to progress with their succession plans, bringing on board a new CEO, Jon Shepherd in 2017.

DOS is the latest in a strong run of successful exits for BGF including web hosting company Miss Group, IT services provider Vysiion and 3D design software company Solid Solutions.

Jon Shepherd, DOS said: “The past month has been unsettling for all retailers, but our strong ecommerce platform has ensured that we’ve been able to continue to generate sales and demonstrate the robustness and resilience of the business model.

“This is a very pleasing result for all shareholders and one that we have been working collaboratively to achieve. We have benefited from the continued support of our Chairman David Cox and investor BGF, who have helped us to navigate through a period of very high growth. We are now pleased to be continuing our growth strategy with Broadview.”

Edwin Davies, BGF Investor and DOS board director said: “DOS has generated strong growth since our investment, supported by a highly successful sales and marketing strategy. This exit has been delivered in exceptional circumstances, which is credit to the founders and management team at DOS, David Cox, Broadview and the BGF team. We wish the company all the best in the future and look forward to watching their continued success and expansion.”

The investment and exit were led for BGF by Edwin Davies and Ned Dorbin.

The advisors to the transaction were:

BGF and DOS: KPMG Corporate Finance – Andrew Hodgson, Gemma Legg, Sami Fairris; Harrison Clark Rickerbys – Richard Wilkey, Rachel Reeves, Louisa Leach; PwC Tax – Lee Waterson, Gavin Holland