Elite Telecom adds 13,000 connections with Qualitel buy

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 Purchase is Elite’s 10th since 2008 and adds 600 customers spread across mainly Vodafone and O2

B2B dealer Elite Telecom last week completed the “strategic” acquisition of mobile airtime rival Qualitel Voice and Data, adding approximately 13,000 connections.

The deal, which was for an undisclosed fee, marks Elite’s 10th acquisition since 2008, was signed off on April 11.

Qualitel, a Vodafone Gold Partner with revenues in excess of £4 million a year, was founded by current managing director Mike Ridgway (pictured) in Newcastle-under- Lyme in 2003.

The company has built a base consisting of more than 600 customers with around 13,000 connections spread across mainly Vodafone and O2.

Ridgway, who confirmed to Mobile News he will remain in the role, described the acquisition as a huge opportunity for the business to grow – and will utilise Elite’s long-established fixed line and IT offerings within its current and future base.

He added Qualitel, which will keep loyal to its Staffordshire roots, is undergoing a major sale recruitment drive, aiming to increase its current sales force from 10 to 15 as soon as possible, following the purchase.

Ridgway said: “We see this as a tremendous opportunity for the business and it ties in with our ambitious growth strategy. We are already recruiting to boost our sales strengths in the market.

4,500 customers

The announcement comes three months since its acquisition of Modern Communications in January and almost a year since acquiring Vodafone Gold Partner 21c Telecom, adding more than 1,000 customers totalling more than 9,000 connections.

Elite claims to have around 4,500 customers on its books today.

Matt Newing, founder and  chief executive of Elitetele.com, said it was attracted to Qualitel due to its customer base focus on the IT sector, such as workflow applications, which it deems a huge growth area.

He said: “This is our second acquisition of a premium Vodafone partner, strengthening our mobile offering to business clients and reinforcing our significance to the mobile networks.

“With offices in the North, South and Midlands we are building on our national presence.”

Elite was advised on the deal by Gareth McIntegart, DLA Piper while Murray Macnab of Ellis-Fermor & Negus advised the shareholders of Qualitel.

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