Buyout of Internet services provider Metronet (UK) completed

E-commerce

by Duncan MacRae| 30 June 2014

The deal was backed by ISIS Equity Partners.

The management team of Internet services provider Metronet (UK) has completed a £45m secondary buyout of the business, backed by ISIS Equity Partners.

The deal sees private equity specialist LDC exit the business two years after its initial investment.

Based in Manchester, Metronet (UK) combines wireless technology with traditional fibre to deliver connectivity solutions from leased lines to complex, multi site networks across the UK. Using wireless connectivity rather than fibre liberates its customers from reliance upon third party fibre and exchanges.

Founded in 2003, Metronet (UK) has grown rapidly from its Manchester base into Lancashire, Cheshire, Liverpool, Leeds and Birmingham and is now expanding further afield. Widespread adoption of cloud-based services has seen customer growth accelerate and the company now has more than 1,200 customers including Laing O'Rourke, Autotrader, Capgemini and Umbro.

The specialist technology team at international investment bank Altium advised Metronet and shareholders on LDC's initial investment in 2012, which saw the private equity house invest £11m for a majority stake in the business. Altium subsequently advised on the secondary buyout, with the team led by Group CEO Phil Adams, MD Stuart Lees and assistant director Dominic Orsini.

The investment by ISIS will support the business as it continues its rapid growth into new and existing territories. In the medium to long term, the company seeks to create the UK's first ubiquitous wireless network infrastructure.

Elliott Mueller, CEO of Metronet (UK), said: "Metronet (UK) is entering a very exciting phase of growth and we have some major plans to invest in the network over the coming years to support geographic expansion. The investment from ISIS will help us realise our ambition to build Metronet (UK) into the country's leading B2B Internet Service Provider."

Stuart Lees, MD at Altium, said: "Altium is delighted to have supported the next stage in Metronet's exciting development. Metronet's customer service, forward looking management team and unique business model are of the highest quality."

Phil Adams, group CEO of Altium, said: "Telecoms and technology has formed an increasing part of our business in recent years and the Metronet deal follows recent successes for Altium including the two recent cross border sales of Pixartprinting to Vistaprint and of Beontra to Lockheed Martin. It is core to our business model to build relationships with clients over a period of time so we have been delighted to act for Metronet for the second time."

Altium's technology team has advised on more than 57 transactions worth in excess of £4.2bn since 2005.

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