Dataforce sold by Twenty in focus shift

Marketing services group Twenty has sold the contact centre, business process outsourcing and fulfilment company Dataforce Interact for £9.25 million, four years after acquiring it in a reverse takeover. The division has been bought by HOV Global Services, a BPO specialist group.

Dataforce was bought by Twenty in March 2006 for a total of £10.5 million in a largely cash deal as the first stage in Twenty’s intended ambition to create a marketing services group focused around customer data and integrated customer management solutions. The group, founded by Ian Lancaster, founder of TUP Group and formerly chief executive of Virgin Cars, now says it intends to focus solely on data and digital marketing.

The disposal follows a re-organisation of Twenty which took over the database management and analytical business as part of Dataforce Online last August, leaving Dataforce Interact operating customer management and outsourcing. Twenty has now decided that it does not have the resources to operate this dual strategy, hence the sale to HOV.

The disposal was handled by Livingstone Partners. “This deal has been encouraging, not just because we have been able to sell an attractive and profitable business, enabling Twenty to focus on its core data and digital marketing businesses, but because we were able to achieve a good price”, says Tim Lyle, Partner at Livingstone.

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