Woods Group’s Valldata acquisition creates UK’s largest charity services firm

By Nick Batten on 2 October, 2017

Melksham-based outsourcing specialist Valldata has been acquired by Chippenham’s Woods Group in a move that combines the expertise of two of the charity sector’s “biggest suppliers” to form the “most complete end-to-end charity fundraising services available in the UK.”

The companies claim to offer “complimentary services,” with Woods being best known for its strengths in charity raffles, lotteries, print production and payment processing, and Valldata for fulfillment, payment processing and specialist response handling. According to Woods Group, bringing them together creates a “stronger and more robust business” that can work with charities across a broader remit, with “logistical and efficiency benefits, and greater ability to respond to the needs of a developing fundraising environment.” Together, they will aim to build on their leading position with the advantage of a “single investment focus on compliance, quality, and innovation.”

Ian Scarr, managing director of Woods Group and new CEO of Valldata, said, “We are thrilled to bring Valldata and its reputation for excellence into the Woods Group, reinforcing our commitment to the charity and not-for-profit sector through targeted investment. Together, we offer many years of experience and a team of over 175 talented and dedicated experts, the combination of which provides a sector-leading supplier that has a pedigree like no other for supporting charities in their vital work.”

The 100% acquisition has been effective as of 31 August 2017 and sees Valldata acquired from the VRD Group. Scott Gray steps down as CEO of Valldata, remaining CEO of the VRD Group and Rapidata Services, a direct debit processing company.

He remarked, “The not-for-profit market has significantly changed over the past couple of years and this brings pressures to suppliers to adapt to. It became clear that to grow Valldata, further investment was required and joining forces with Woods Group presents a great opportunity for the company, the staff and the sector, it’s an extremely positive move for all parties involved.”

Scott added, “Rapidata remains on hand as a strategic partner and I look forward to continuing to work alongside Valldata and to building new relationships with the Woods Group team.”

Woods Group and Valldata will continue to operate as independent brands with a joint move to a new, purpose-built headquarters planned for summer 2018.