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Daisy Group acquires SpiriTel for £27m

Paul Withers
November 10, 2010

Daisy Group buys service provider in its biggest purchase to date; deal will see SpiriTel chief executive Alastair Mills and chief financial officer Ronnie Smith leave the business

Acquisitive reseller Daisy Group has acquired service provider SpiriTel for £27.3 million, marking its biggest purchase to date. The deal also sees it pay £6.1 million for debt facilities from Clydesdale Bank, which has funded SpiriTel’s buy and build strategy since 2007.

Daisy Group, which is headed by Matthew Riley (pictured left), inherits a business with a turnover of over £30 million and 200 staff working from offices in London, Cardiff, Wigan and Glasgow. As part of the transaction, after a short handover period, SpiriTel chief executive Alastair Mills (pictured right) and chief financial officer Ronnie Smith will leave the business to focus on other business ventures.

Since 2007, when the company’s main trading unit SpiriTel Business was established, 12 acquisitions have been made and it recently reported 15 per cent organic growth rate.

SpiriTel has over 4,000 corporate customers including RBS, Barclays, BBC Worldwide, Marriott, HMV and City of London. The company won its largest contract to date in August of this year with a three year, £5 million deal with Punch Taverns to deliver integrated voice and data solutions across 800 sites.

The company added that the acquisition marks a successful exit for the majority owner of SpiriTel, Penta Capital,which originally invested in 2003 but more recently led a £10 million fundraising in November 2009 and provides a substantial profit for the private equity group.

Daisy Group chief executive Matthew Riley said: “The Daisy Board believes that this acquisition gives Daisy a strong foothold in the mid-market, strengthening our sales team and engineering force, while significantly enhancing both our product portfolio and customer base.

“With our data hosting capabilities from the former Vialtus Solutions business, this deal gives us a great cross-sale opportunity to sell hosted solutions and fill our three data centres in London, Manchester and Fareham. In addition, SpiriTel’s position as a Mitel Premier Partner, coupled with a nationwide engineering force will see enhancements to Daisy Group’s systems and maintenance division.”

SpiriTel chief executive Alastair Mills said: “It has been a real pleasure to lead SpiriTel through a period of transformation and establish the Company as one of the fastest growing providers of integration communications to UK business customers. SpiriTel’s management team has executed a comprehensive turnaround strategy to the point where we have now sold a business of genuine scale that competes for and wins major contracts with major businesses.”

Penta Capital partner Steven Scott said: “The sale to Daisy marks another successful exit for our investors. This was a difficult investment in the early years, which the current management team completely transformed, with our support, into a dynamic growth capital buy and build group in a rapidly consolidating sector. Twelve acquisitions were integrated quickly and effectively on a relatively ungeared basis and, despite the economic uncertainty, the team successfully delivered organic growth alongside the acquisitions.”

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