FPE Capital completes buyout of leading global beverage data business, IWSR
FPE Capital LLP (‘FPE’), a growth private equity investor in UK lower mid-market companies announces that it has completed the management buyout of IWSR, which owns and operates the world’s largest database on the beverage alcohol market. This buyout marks the third investment in FPE’s £100m maiden institutional fund announced in October 2017.
FPE, which owns a majority stake in the business, will partner with the IWSR management team, which is led by CEO Mark Meek. Mark has worked in the business information sector for over 20 years and was formerly CEO of Datamonitor and Progressive Digital Media.
IWSR is headquartered in London and has a US office in New York. Over the last 40 years the company has built up the world’s largest database on the beverage alcohol market, covering market, category and brand performance in 157 countries.
At completion, Neil Smith joined the business as non-executive Chairman. Neil was formerly Group COO of Wilmington plc and has over 25 years’ experience as a founder, director, advisor and investor in information businesses.
David Barbour, Managing Partner at FPE, commented:
"We are delighted to be backing Mark Meek and his team in the management buyout of IWSR. Mark has driven significant growth at IWSR since becoming CEO four years ago and we look forward to partnering with him and the team for their next phase of growth. We will build on the excellent reputation of the business and its unique market leading data to ensure this remains a leading global supplier to the drinks industry and grows to service the new markets and products in this sector. We are delighted that the founding Smith family will continue to be represented within the business by Alastair Smith who continues in his role as Director, and will have a shareholding in the business.”
Mark Meek, CEO of IWSR, said:
“We are very pleased to be in partnership with FPE who have shown a great understanding of our business model and enthusiasm to assist us in growing the business. FPE’s significant experience of in both media and data sectors will help realise our growth potential.”
The FPE investment was led by David Barbour, Dan Walker and Connor Trendell, with Allied Irish Bank (GB) providing acquisition finance. FPE were advised on the transaction by Charles Russell Speechlys, Plural Strategy Group, , RSM Corporate Finance, Intuitus, Continuum Ventures and Oakfields Advisors. The management team was advised by Clearwater International and Gateley plc. The selling shareholders were advised by Gordons Partnership, Iffley Consulting and DSA Prospect.
FPE via MHP Communications:
Kelsey Traynor, Ben Reeve
+44 (0)203 128 8100
Mark Meek, CEO, IWSR
+44 (0)7850 435 386
Notes to Editors:
FPE is a growth private equity investor specialising in lower mid-market UK companies with advantaged business models that offer significant growth potential in large markets that are undergoing structural change. It is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. www.fpecapital.com
IWSR has, over the last 40 years built up the world’s largest database on the beverage alcohol market. It is the only company that allows customers to understand the market, category and brand performance in 157 countries across the world using local market input. The company’s research model is to triangulate company data and local in-market research to produce the most trusted beverage alcohol analysis. IWSR’s specialist analysts travel the world, visiting 118 markets annually, in order to meet over 1,500 local professionals and its data covers 157 markets in total. IWSR uses this data and knowledge to produce intuitive databases, news and comment through Insight Reports to give an in-depth understanding of specific countries and categories.