US firm divests

Steve Chadd leads MBO at Millnet as Consilio divests

Chadd worked his way up to the top at Millnet, where he has now been MD for five years
Chadd worked his way up to the top at Millnet, where he has now been MD for five years

Data, document and mailing house Millnet has undergone an MBO, with managing director Steve Chadd taking up ownership.

The deal, three months in the making and inked on 1 February, has seen international digital investigation and document review firm Consilio divest from its UK Paper division, trading as Millnet Document Services, and associated company Docbuster, which Chadd now heads up.

Chadd has now acquired the trade and assets of Millnet, as well as all the shares of Docbuster.

Millnet’s management team and staff will stay on, with its leadership team made up of directors with and without stakes in the new company, called Millnet Ltd.

Chadd told Printweek he “leapt at the chance” when Consilio approached him in late 2023.

“Both sides worked tirelessly to get the deal complete and closed by 1 February,” he said.

“I have to say Consilio were great and helped me every step of the way, and they’ve been a fantastic company to be part of since 2018 [when Consilio acquired Millnet].”

Chadd has been with Millnet for 12 years, working his way up from client services assistant to the top job, which he has now held for five years.

He added that the firm had strong ambitions for the future, but in immediate weeks and months would focus on business as usual and quality of service to existing clients.

Millnet offers a range of document services, including investigation scanning, large volume scanning and data extraction, archive management, bundle printing, digital printing for marketing and presentations, and hybrid mailing.

It has a fleet of Canon production presses to support this work – largely ImagePress C910s, the company also has a C8500 ImageRunner C8500 and an ImagePress C10000 for digital mailing work.

Chadd added: “Being independent allows us to focus on growing our offering to not only current clients but those we hope to bring on board as we move forward. 

“I think we would like to see growth in all areas but in recent times we have seen a growth in the archive and data management space that really piques our interest.

“Consilio is a great organization, and having been part of one of the largest eDiscovery providers in the works, we learned a lot – and I learned a lot. Now we want to take that education and our own expertise and move forward.”

Accountancy Price Bailey was engaged to advise on the transaction, which was funded by Chadd. Law firm Howes Percival advised on the legal aspects of the deal.

Stephen Reed, partner at Price Bailey and leader of its strategic corporate finance team, said: “Millnet is a specialist business combining traditional document management with data solutions driven by rapidly evolving technology, including AI. 

“This deal has secured the future of the business in the UK and positioned it for future growth.”

Oliver Pritchard, corporate partner at Howes Percival, added: “We are delighted to have supported Steve on his purchase of the business.

“The timetable for the transaction was incredibly challenging, and it was a real collaborative team effort to achieve a successful outcome. 

“We wish Steve and Millnet all the very best for the future of the business and we look forward to providing further legal support to the business as it grows and develops.”

Millnet employs 37 at its Wapping site.