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Esteem Systems is a specialist IT managed services provider serving mid-market businesses and the public sector.


Esteem began trading in 1985, initially as a seller of digital hardware equipment. By 2004 it had developed its service range to include consultancy, design, implementation and ongoing support of IT infrastructure. Esteem’s founder was looking to retire and Primary was approached by an experienced CEO looking for finance to support a management buy-in. Primary was the preferred partner and we completed a management buy-in in November 2004.

The Big Idea

We bought into and backed management team’s buy-and-build strategy to complete Esteem’s transformation to a full managed services provider. Esteem was seen as a good platform given its excellent customer relationships and its range of services.

The Grand Plan

Under our ownership the company made two key acquisitions – Access Computing and SiRViS – which increased its geographic and product base.  The quality of earnings was significantly enhanced by developing the managed service offering and building a larger recurring revenue base. In 2012 the business formalised its ‘Maintain, Transform, Manage’ concept, giving Esteem’s customers a full service offering.

The Bottom Line

Esteem’s profitability more than doubled following the buy-out in 2004 and staff numbers grew from 103 to 192 employees during the period. The business was sold to Roc in October 2018.

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Investment Summary

Date of investment:  November 2004
Deal status:  Realised
Date of Realisation: October 2018

Company website:
For more information talk to:  Neil Wallace

“When the Esteem management team required a PE partner to acquire the business it was recommended that we talk to Primary. Having met with a number of PE houses, Primary stood out from other organisations due to the commitment of all the partners and their understanding of our plans.

   Primary place a great deal of emphasis on building a strong working relationship and have worked with Esteem through both good and bad times. At the time of the original deal it was made clear that the Primary partner responsible for completing the transaction would remain with the business post completion, and it’s a testament to the strength of the relationship that this remains the case eight years later.

   I know I can always rely on Primary to give excellent advice and guidance when it’s requested and I would have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone seeking a PE partner.”

Joe Connolly, Chief Executive, Esteem Systems

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