Ex-SpiriTel chief Mills on acquisition trail

Ex-SpiriTel chief Mills on acquisition trail

Former SpiriTel CEO Alastair Mills is on the hunt for mobile resellers to add to his newly formed managed data services group.

The entrepreneur is currently in advanced talks with two mobile resellers and preliminary talks with a number of other mobile dealers.

The group, which has yet to be branded, announced its first three acquisitions this week, fuelled by a £60m war chest.

The three acquisitions are datacentre UKSolutions, MPLS provider NetworkFlow and voice services company Protel, giving the group 60 staff across four offices and 900 customers.

Speaking to Mobile, Mills said: ‘Mobile is the one piece of the jigsaw we don’t yet have so we are very focused on bringing that mobile capability to the group.

‘We are talking to two mobile resellers – one selling Vodafone connections, one with O2.We expect a deal by the autumn.’

He added that the group is also in early talks with other mobile resellers.

Mills said the group is targeting companies with strong growth rates: ‘We are most definitely not a consolidator looking to buy distressed assets.

‘We specifically target growing companies and will invest in their teams and infrastructure.’

The group’s three acquisitions all have double digit growth rates, with combined revenues of £25m and profit margins of more than 25%.

Mills said the company is ‘firmly focused on the mid-market’, with voice customers spending around £4,000 per customer per month, ‘one of the highest ARPUs in the
fixed line industry’.

The new group differs from SpiriTel, which Mills sold last November to Daisy Group for £37m.

He said: ‘At SpiriTel we faced a challenge familiar in the market: we were a voice company trying to turn into a data company. This time, our group is very firmly focused on growing from a strong data services core. We are firmly positioned to capitalise on an exciting growth market.’

Mills retains his core team from SpiriTel, including CFO Ronnie Smith, commercial director Jonny Shanmuganathan and company secretary Andrew Booth. The group said another ‘significant senior hire’ will be confirmed next week.   

Written by Mobile Today
Mobile Today


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