Foresight leads automotive software investment

UK small-cap investor Foresight Group has led a £7.5m management buyout (MBO) of, an Oxfordshire-based software engineering company focused on the automotive sector.

The deal sees Foresight investing £3.75m alongside £3m of flexible debt financing from Octopus Investments. Diagnos’ management team committed the balance.

A 10-year old business, Diagnos develops diagnostic software and hardware that enables mechanics to communicate with the computers than run modern-day cars.

The company employs 57 staff, and the MBO is led by technical and operations director Ian Jones, an existing shareholder who has been at the company since 2001. He is joined by Peter Toland, managing director and sales director, and a former senior vice-president of a rival company, and chairman Kevin Finn, the founder and CEO of National Service Network, the UK’s largest network of independent garages.

Chris Price, an investment director on Foresight’s MBO team, said: “The global market for diagnostic units has increased dramatically over the last decade as cars have become increasingly reliant on complex electronics to function. Diagnos has established a market leading position and has a range of proven products with an OEM level of software coverage and reliability, a user friendly interface and high levels of technical support and after sales service.”