Entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den star Peter Jones has sold Wireless Logic to private equity firm ECI Partners for £38m. Wireless Logic is an independent Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications specialist, with 3,600 customers and nearly 600,000 Sims under management in the UK and continental Europe.
The deal is Peter Jones’s third sale of a telecoms business within a year. Last July he sold Sim card reseller DSNS and IT service firm PJ Media to eXpansys for £49m. Jones owns 43% of eXpansys. He still owns mobile distributor Data Select, which achieved sales of £194m and a pre-tax profit of £4.3m in the year to 30 April 2010.
Wireless Logic offers M2M communication solutions by connecting embedded sensing devices in machines (such as vehicles) via Sim-based technology. The company partners with all the major mobile networks including Vodafone, Orange and O2. Applications include vehicle tracking, smart metering, home and business security and intelligent health monitoring.
Vehicle tracking was one of the first industry sectors to develop on the back of M2M technology and significant growth remains in this market, with only 20% of commercial vehicles currently tracked. Rapid growth is also forecast in other sectors, such as smart utility metering, healthcare and security, and new applications are being developed every day such as wireless advertising and PDQ machines in taxis.
The M2M market is forecast to experience rapid growth of more than 30% per annum Wireless Logic was ranked 25th in the Sunday Times Tech Track 2010 league table of the UK’s fastest-growing private technology companies.
Wireless Logic was formed in 1999 by the current MD Oliver Tucker and sales director Philip Cole. Peter Jones acquired the business in 2002.
ECI director Chris Warren commented: ‘The possible applications for M2M technology are virtually limitless and we are extremely excited by the potential of Wireless Logic in this rapidly growing market. We are looking forward to working with the management team and assisting the company in its continuing expansion and market development.’
Peter Jones said: ‘Wireless Logic is the UK's leader in M2M networks and has grown significantly in a fairly short time frame since I made the decision to acquire the business in 2002. I have thoroughly enjoyed helping Philip and Oliver to grow the business in that time and I will be watching with interest how the business develops further with the support and backing of ECI.’
Wireless Logic MD Oliver Tuckercommented: ‘We moved quickly to secure a commanding market position in this exciting and rapidly developing M2M market and have created a business model that adds value to our clients and that creates attractive recurring revenues. We look forward to building on our position as market leaders with continual development in our software platform and increasing our service and value-adds to our channel customers.’