Olive Communications has made its biggest acquisition to date with the purchase of Vodafone Platinum Partner rival Wish Communications.
The deal sees Olive become the second largest Vodafone Platinum Partner after OneCom, more than doubling its customer base from 2,500 to 6,000 to give it over 110,000 connections and a combined annual turnover of over £25m.
As part of the deal, Wish MD Mike Hallam becomes Olive’s chief operating officer, with Wish operations director Simon Pickering taking on the role of Olive’s group professional services director. Both Hallam and Pickering will also become Olive shareholders.
Speaking to Mobile, Olive CEO Martin Flick (pictured) said: ‘This is our ninth acquisition in two years and is very significant in terms of our strategy. In combining the two businesses we create huge benefit for our customers, suppliers and staff.’
He said the deal significantly strengthened the Olive management team. ‘We are on a growth strategy that will really change the way businesses buy their communication services and to do that we need a really strong management team. I now think we have the most dynamic and experienced management team in the industry.’
The acquisition also broadens the group’s range of services which now include mobile solutions, IPVPN and Hosted Voice, PBX Maintenance, WAN and Cloud based services, delivered as integrated solutions, and managed by in house experts.
Flick said Wish was ‘a perfect match which will deliver benefits beyond the sum of its parts.’ He added: ‘The teams within both organisations are leading in their respective fields, and offer highly complementry services.’
The deal brings to Olive’s largely corporate base a similar sized group of Wish SME and SOHO customers, as well as its fixed and IP Voice capabilities including billing, provisioning and installation.
Hallam also welcomed the acquisition. He said: ‘We have built our business steadily since 2006 and they can be very proud of what we have achieved in that time. The skills they have developed in that period were much sought after and Olives’ appetite to acquire our business bears that out.’
Flick insisted there would be no redundancies resulting from the deal. He told Mobile: ‘We have not bought the base. We have bought the business because we want the strength of the people there. We will continue along fairly aggressive lines and I expect staff numbers to grow by another 10% in the next six months.’
Vodafone head of Partner Services Rob Mukherjee, said: ‘This is an exciting acquisition within the Vodafone Platinum partner community. As we continue to strengthen our position in the total communications market our hope is that partners develop their own capability in line with our plans and in making this acquisition Olive are demonstrating their commitment to our long term strategy.’
Author: Carol Millett