Onecom, the UK’s largest independent business telecommunications provider, has acquired the Glamorgan Telecom Group for an undisclosed sum as part of an ambitious strategy designed to significantly expand the business over the next three years.
The acquisition will see the multi-million-pound revenue Glamorgan Telecom Group become a Onecom company with its senior leadership, including chief executive officer Kelly Bolderson, remaining with the business. The deal represents the first of a number of acquisitions planned by Onecom, led by former O2 executive Ben Dowd, after it secured a £100million funding package from LDC and Ares Management Corporation last year.
The acquisition of the Cardiff-headquartered group will strengthen Onecom’s presence in South Wales and the South West, and offers significant cross-selling opportunities as it combines Glamorgan Telecom’s established fixed-line telephony offer with its market-leading mobile and cloud-based services.
Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Fareham, Hampshire, Onecom has doubled its revenues over the last five years. It employs roughly 400 people across seven regional offices and its partners include Samsung, Apple, Vodafone, Mitel and Gamma. The UK’s business-to-business mobile telecoms market is growing by four per cent each year, and acquisitions are set to provide Onecom with additional scale in a growing market.
A recent winner at South Wales Chamber of Commerce’s Welsh Business Awards, Glamorgan Telecom Group has grown significantly in recent years having completed a management buy-out in 2017. The 2017 buyout was funded by the Development Bank of Wales who have supported Glamorgan Telecom Group since then.
Ben Dowd, chief executive officer at Onecom, said: “The telecommunications sector is playing a crucial role in supporting the operational resilience of businesses across the UK and will continue to do so as we look ahead to an increasingly digital economy over the next three years. SMEs spend as much as £8billion a year on telecoms and connectivity which will ultimately fuel and accelerate our growth. LDC’s investment has already provided us with major impetus and further strategic acquisitions will undoubtedly complement the high level of organic growth we plan to deliver as we scale and diversify our services.
“Kelly and the Glamorgan Telecom team have achieved an outstanding reputation as a market leader, regionally, and I’m looking forward to working with them as part of Onecom to strengthen the business’ already-enviable offer for its customers.”
Kelly Bolderson, managing director at Glamorgan Telecom, said: “The telecoms sector is growing rapidly, with customers increasingly requiring a comprehensive service offering to support their evolving needs. We will continue to be known for our strengths in on-premise solutions, however, the rollout of 5G and superfast fibre broadband presents significant opportunities for us to broaden our appeal. Onecom’s capabilities in mobile services will enable us to capitalise on those opportunities swiftly and support our customers in more ways than ever before.”
Yann Souillard, head of London at LDC, added: “Strategic acquisitions have been a core component of Onecom’s growth strategy since we backed the management team in 2019. Bringing Glamorgan Telecom into the fold is an important milestone that will help both organisations take advantage of a rising demand for their services, an extended geographical reach and new cross-selling opportunities.”
Sam Macalister-Smith of the Development Bank of Wales added: “As long-term investors of Glamorgan Telecom we’ve continued to support their growth strategy as they have grown to become the leading provider of telecommunications and connectivity solutions across Wales and the South West. This acquisition is a real credit to Kelly and the team who have worked tirelessly to build the business. We wish them every success.”
LDC actively supports the buy and build strategies its portfolio businesses are pursuing. Since July 2019, LDC-backed businesses across the UK have acquired more than 45 companies with a total enterprise value of over £275million. Currently more than one-third of LDC’s existing portfolio businesses are looking to grow through acquisition.
Onecom was advised by PwC and CMS, while the Glamorgan Telecom Group was advised by Gambit Corporate Finance and Capital Law.