Leading mid-market private equity firm LDC has exited its investment in Connect Managed Services (‘Connect’) after securing a deal that merges the contact centre technology and services group with G3 Comms (‘G3’). The transaction creates one of the UK’s largest customer experience and unified communications specialists and a group with combined revenues in excess of £55million.
LDC first backed the multi-million-pound management buyout of Connect in 2014 (formerly Connect Communications) to accelerate its expansion at home and overseas through technology investment and acquisitions.
With LDC’s support, Connect has since made a series of acquisitions that have provided significant scale and dramatically transformed the business, tripling revenues from £9.7million to £30million for the year ending December 2018, increasing employee numbers by 225% to total approximately 180.
In 2017, Connect acquired PC-1, which manages some of the largest contact centres in the UK for customers such as NSPCC, Northumbrian Water and Vodafone. This was followed by two acquisitions in 2018 including that of specialist customer engagement consultancy Cool Harbour and US-based technical and engineering support firm UVN.
Alex Tupman, CEO of Connect Managed Services, who will lead the combined group, said: “The merger of G3 and Connect brings together two businesses with highly complementary capabilities which will enable our combined clients to derive significant benefits from the newly acquired skills provided by the enlarged team, together with the ability to offer an extended portfolio of specialist and proven products and services.
“The Connect management team is grateful for the support LDC has provided over the last five years. On every level it has been a very successful partnership and we are equally enthused by the possibilities for the newly merged business.”
Chris Coulton, Portfolio Director at LDC, added: “Alex and the management team have done a fantastic job of growing the businesses year on year since we first partnered with the firm back in 2014. They have delivered a clear growth plan having scaled the business through investment in research and development and establishing a greater presence in international markets through acquisitions. We look forward to watching G3 and Connect continue to grow in future.”
LDC and Connect were advised by HMT LLP and BDB Pitmans LLP.