Making an impact – Debbie Bestwick MBE, Founder, Team17
8 Dec 2020
Debbie Bestwick MBE is the Founder of Team17, the Yorkshire-based video games powerhouse behind the iconic Worms franchise. She started dreaming of running a public company when she was just a teenager.
She started dreaming of running a public company when she was just a teenager. “When I was 16, I was reading autobiographies of businesspeople who were running huge listed corporations,” she says.
Debbie almost attempted an IPO in 2016, but decided on private equity as a steppingstone, not just as a source of capital, but “to test myself in the boardroom environment and check that I had the patience and skill to cope at that level. I realised it was too early, and didn’t know how I’d cope in that environment, dealing with the City every day.”
Team17 received many offers of investment, “we were fortunate because everyone tabled offers for what we wanted, so we chose the best partner. LDC brings a globally-recognised name,” she explains.
“It was only when I secured private equity investment that I felt confident enough to start thinking about an IPO again. And LDC really helped me prepare – they nurtured me well.”
Debbie realised her ambition in 2018, when Team17 launched on AIM with an oversubscribed listing, and just two years on the dynamic founder had tripled the share price.
“I have always had a burning ambition to grow a business, and create something really special here in the UK,” Debbie says. “A lot of gaming companies get sold overseas but I wanted to prove that I, a working-class girl, could build a British success story.”
The team at LDC cared about my business and the journey we were on – so much more than I was expecting. They allowed me to do things I never thought private equity would agree to.”
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