Taylor to launch Data Select takeover bid


Chief commercial officer begins buyout negotiations with Data Select owner Peter Jones

Data Select commercial director Roy Taylor is understood to be planning to take over the company as part of a management buyout.

Exclusive discussions between Taylor and Data Select directors and shareholders, including current chairman Peter Jones and CEO George McPherson are said to have progressed in recent weeks.

Taylor joined Data Select in 2006 after seven years as 20:20 Mobile’s group purchasing director.

No secret
McPherson told staff last week that Taylor had moved to take an equity stake in the business. But Taylor is said to have been open about his plans to buy the company and has approached GE Capital for backing.

The deal could be completed by the end of the year – with Taylor becoming CEO.

Data Select declined to comment while Taylor was on holiday and unavailable as Mobile News went to press.

Data Select has an annual turnover of about £180 million and will be sold for between £12 million and £15 million.

McPherson, who has been with the business for more than 10 years, has reduced his role to work two days a week, in what is seen as preparation for an orderly exit from the business as Taylor’s plans progress.

Taylor was first linked with a management buyout 18 months ago, when industry sources reckoned Jones was looking to sell his interests in Phones International Group. Jones denied this, emphasising he was committed to Data Select, despite his withdrawal from day-to-day management of the business to devote more time to his much-publicised media interests.

Some staff claim Jones has not yet visited Data Select’s new head office in Slough, since the move from Marlow in June last year.

In May, takeover talks between McPherson and Brightstar Europe president Rod Millar took place in Slough and a deal was close to resolution before collapsing at the 11th hour.

Earlier this month Jones told a national newspaper he wanted to “offload” Data Select, having sold his M2M Wireless Logic business, which operated under the Phones International Group, for £38 million to ECI Partners.

Data Select is the last brand within Phones International Group.

Jones sold SIM-card reseller Data Select Network Services (DSNS) and IT service firm PJ Media to Expansys for £49 million last July.