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MSP DSP Group merges with Oracle specialist Explorer

Managed services DSP Group is merging with Explorer UK, an Oracle consultancy, development and support provider to form what it claims is one of the largest independent Oracle partners in the UK. 

With offices in London, Nottingham and Basingstoke, DSP was founded in 1999 and has grown to a turnover of almost £10m with circa 40 staff. Based in Leeds, Explorer is also an Oracle Platinum Partner with circa 50 staff, and has over 25 years’ experience of providing award-winning database and infrastructure solutions, with particular experience in Oracle Engineered Systems and Cloud. Bringing together the two complementary businesses will broaden DSP’s extensive data infrastructure capabilities to provide a wider range of consultancy and managed service offerings, they say. Both organisations will continue to operate in the UK database technology and cloud/managed services market under their own brand names.

In August 2018, YFM Equity Partners (YFM) backed the £10m MBO led by CEO, Simon Goodenough. Explorer founder, Ian Thomason, will join the board of the DSP Group, with Simon Goodenough becoming Group CEO. The new combined group will continue to operate from DSP’s three offices, and Explorer’s Leeds head office. The deal will see DSP boost group revenues to over £20m, increase profits substantively and provide a further platform for both organic and acquisitive growth, they say.

DSP is backed by YFM which invested £5.3m in the business in 2018 to fund its MBO, with working capital provided by Santander Growth Finance. Since the 2018 management buyout, DSP has doubled turnover and profitability, and grown its contract base by 300%. 

Simon Goodenough, CEO of DSP, said: “This really is a case of one and one makes three. It’s great news for our team, customers, partners and investors that we have been able to bring together two of the UK’s most renowned database management specialists at such a pivotal time for our industry. Our shared market knowledge and similar cultures make this an ideal fit, and together we have the scale and momentum to continue our ambitious growth plans. Explorer’s pedigree as an award-winning provider of enterprise grade Oracle solutions addresses our need to offer clients a variety of options, from ultra-fast on-premise database infrastructures to highly secure, integrated cloud environments, all managed by our global managed services delivery team. As a combined group, we will look to realise our joint objective of being the UK’s No.1 provider of enterprise-grade database and data platform services, whether on-premise or cloud, Oracle or Microsoft.”

Ian Thomason, managing director of Explorer, adds: “By combining two market leading specialists in their respective domains, we will accelerate our individual growth ambitions, resulting in a sum greater than its parts."

Ian Thomason (left), managing director of Explorer, with Simon Goodenough, CEO of DSP Group