Investment office of Scots entrepreneur Sir Brian Souter seals Canadian disposal


The private equity-focused firm has reached an agreement to sell Stone Technologies Group, which specializes in “circular” IT, to Toronto Stock Exchange-listed Converge Technology Solutions Corp. signed, a provider of software-based IT and cloud services. The transaction, terms of which have not been disclosed, is subject to regulatory approval.

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Stone has served the UK public and private sectors for over 30 years, helping thousands of organizations adapt to a changing technology landscape and thrive, including providing personalized services, and providing ‘reliable’ IT support. It aims to make a “real and lasting” impact on the way technology is sold by providing a full-loop sourcing cycle for customers for the benefit of the environment and future generations.

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Souter acquired a majority stake in Stone, whose headquarters are pictured, in 2019. Image: contributed.

Souter, which says it has invested more than £500m in over 70 unlisted companies, acquired a majority stake in Stone in 2019 and invested alongside its management team and a consortium of investors managed by private equity house RJD Partners.

It added that since the acquisition, Stone has thrived and has expanded its range of products, services and solutions, including the launch of the IT recycling app Stone 360, which it says makes it easier to manage end-of-life technology and enables responsible e-waste disposal customers to make progress toward their sustainability goals.

Lincoln International is acting as financial advisor to Stone shareholders. Dickson Minto is legal counsel to Souter Investments and RJD Partners, with Freeths representing management.

Simon Harbridge, Stone’s Chief Executive commented, “In 2019 we were looking for the right partner to support the next stage of Stone’s development. It has been a pleasure working with Sir Brian, John and the Souter team, as well as David MacLellan and RJD Partners.

“The emergence of Covid following Souter’s investment validated our decision to work with them, with pragmatic advice and considered support being the norm, allowing us to focus on our successful growth and transformation strategy. We look forward to continuing our exciting journey as part of the Converge family of companies.”

sustainability

John Berthinussen, Managing Director at Souter Investments, said: “We have really enjoyed working with Simon and his team who have shown real market leadership and a real commitment to sustainability and tackling the e-waste problem.

“Stone has grown tremendously and combines a focus on delivering truly innovative and market-leading products, services and solutions with outstanding customer service, all things that resonate with its customers. We look forward to continuing this in partnership with Converge and wish Simon and his team continued success.”

The deal follows Souter’s recent sale of Duke Street-backed specialty care provider Voyage Care to infrastructure investment manager Wren House, as well as the IPO of Ashtead Technologies, a co-investment with Buckthorn Partners that provides undersea equipment rental services-end technologies and support- Services for the global offshore energy sector.



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