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Generational transition in Telecoms and IT Services

As the line between software and telecoms gets blurrier than ever, leading companies from both industries are joining forces; a trend which we see accelerating as the world gets used to a “new normal” after COVID.

On the macro scale, several billion dollar deals have been made by hyper-scale cloud providers dipping into the telecom market. Most notably Microsoft, which signalled its intention to move into telecoms in March with the acquisition of 5G cloud network specialist Affirmed Networks, and just three weeks later inked another telecoms deal with Enfield-based cloud pioneer Metaswitch.

But this generational transition is not just for the global giants; indeed it is a trend we have been supporting in the mid-market for some time, and which is now accelerating at pace.

Most recently, advised by Acuity, Windsor Telecom has secured a multi-million-pound funding package from commercial finance lender ThinCats to execute an ambitious growth plan, put in place by the company’s management team, led by industry veteran CEO, Pete Tomlinson. Building on Windsor’s strengths, the company will grow its service offering and propositions both organically and through acquisition. The first step on this journey was the purchase of Keen IT.

Since 1999, Windsor has helped connect businesses with customers through inbound call-handling solutions, VoIP services, and memorable phone numbers. These offerings have gradually expanded over time, turning Windsor into a full-service technology partner supporting over 6,000 clients – including big names like Sony and Thomson Directories.

With the proliferation of mobile devices over the past few years, and the recent rise in remote working induced by coronavirus, businesses are now communicating via more channels than ever. This makes Keen IT very attractive to Windsor Telecom, which can use the local Camberley-based firm to further enhance connectivity and IT services.

Alongside the multi million pound funding package from ThinCats, Keen IT’s skill set will boost Windsor Telecom’s growth, putting the firm in an ideal position to ride the historical shift occurring in telecoms.

“We’re delighted these steps will allow us to do even more to help our customers quickly take advantage of the rapidly converging worlds of software, communications and IT services.” said Pete Tomlinson, CEO at Windsor Telecom.

This convergence, along with the rise of the cloud and the arrival of 5G, is driving an active acquisitions market as companies consolidate in search of new technological capabilities.

“I am delighted to have supported Windsor Telecom to execute this transaction which will enable the team to embark on an exciting growth journey over the coming years. The telecoms market is going through a once-in-a-generation evolution, and Windsor now has the team, strategy and capital to ensure its success. With business pivoting to embrace new ways of working, I expect more M&A to continue blurring the lines between Telecoms & IT, across the globe, and involving businesses of all sizes.”

Marcus Allchurch| Head of Telecoms M&A

Marcus joined Acuity in 2014, before which he held senior leadership and corporate finance positions with some of the UK’s most successful advisory and telecoms businesses. Roles with EE, KPMG Corporate Finance and BDO Corporate Finance have seen Marcus work in the UK and across the globe with successful entrepreneurs seeking exit, and at board level with multi-national corporates looking for growth through organic and inorganic investment.

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