Alternative Networks has paid £14.3 million for Echo, which was set up in 1987 and employs 120 staff in south London. It sells converged telecoms and data products to SME customers, specialising in digital and IP-based PBX, fixed line and mobile services. It turned over £15.4 million last year.
Alternative Networks financial director Ed Spurrier said: “Everyone in the B2B space is looking at convergence, and this deal sets us up well for it.”
Echo is an accredited O2 and Vodafone dealer, and a platinum reseller for Mitel and Avaya. Its 1,600-strong customer base includes Augusta Westland, BPP, Watson Wyatt and Diesel Clothing.
Founder director and majority shareholder Richard Bampfylde will remain with the business, as will sales director Simon Turner and operations director Ray Williams. Alternative Networks will retain the Echo brand for the time being.
Its mobile division, which accounts for 2,000 subs, will be integrated into Alternative Networks own mobile business, which has around 40,000. Alternative Networks’ services and systems division, which is run separately of mobile, will likely be integrated with Echo’s specialist division in time. Alternative Networks chief James Murray said: “Acquisitions are a key part of our strategy. Our search of many potential acquisitions has taken 18 months. We will be able to sell more products to an expanded SME base.”