Diploma: Specialized Distribution – [Business Breakdowns, EP. 61]

This is Matt Reustle and today we’re breaking down Diploma. Diploma is a specialist distributor of medical equipment and industrial components listed in the UK. It’s a business you’re unlikely to be familiar with and, at first glance, may appear mundane. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find a high-quality operator generating significant free cash flow through a mix of organic and inorganic growth channels. 

To break down Diploma, I’m joined by Charlie Huggins, an investor in the business and Head of Equities at WealthClub.

 

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.

 

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Show Notes

[00:02:23] – [First question] – The history of Diploma, what they do, and what’s attractive about their business model

[00:04:39] – Size and scale of the business and their market capitalization

[00:07:03] – Overview of what their life sciences business vertical looks like

[00:10:00] – The cyclicality of the seals and controls business verticals 

[00:13:45] – Returns on invested capital and thoughts on the capital intensity of seals

[00:15:06] – What allows their businesses to keep growing and what characterizes a strong acquisition target for Diploma

[00:19:14] – An example of how Diploma fits into the value chain

[00:21:24] – How Diploma acquires for low multiples when making acquisitions 

[00:23:41] – How they drive quantitative and qualitative returns in their acquisitions

[00:27:35] – What management is like at Diploma and their longevity in the business

[00:33:19] – Overview of their competitive landscape 

[00:35:27] – What the business does with extra cash flow in the absence of M&A activity

[00:38:01] – What Charlie finds special about Diploma and what has him excited for the future

[00:41:22] – The key risks in each vertical and what worries him about them 

[00:48:07] – Lessons for investors, business executives and operators from the Diploma story