19/10/2020

Sion Barry, Media Wales Business Editor - 17 AUG 2020

One of Wales' leading telecoms solutions businesses, Glamorgan Telecom Group, has been acquired by OneCom.

The deal, the value of which hasn't been disclosed, sees the Cardiff-based group become a Onecom company with its senior leadership, including managing director Kelly Bolderson, remaining with the business.

Mrs Bolderson became the majority shareholder in the business after leading a management buyout three years ago in a deal providing an exit for founding director Neal Pughe.

That deal was backed by the Development Bank of Wales (then Finance Wales) which took a 15% equity stake and also provided the business with £1m of debt finance.

The acquisition represents the first of a number of acquisitions planned by Onecom, led by former O2 executive Ben Dowd, after it secured a £100m funding package from LDC and Ares Management Corporation last year.

It will strengthen OneCom’s presence in South Wales and the South West and provide cross-selling opportunities as it combines Glamorgan Telecom’s established fixed-line telephony offer with its mobile and cloud-based services.

Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Fareham, Hampshire, OneCom has doubled its revenues over the last five years. It employs 400 people across seven regional offices and its partners include Samsung, Apple, Vodafone, Mitel and Gamma.

The UK’s business-to-business mobile telecoms market is growing by 4% per annum and acquisitions are set to provide Onecom with additional scale in a growing market.

Ben Dowd, chief executive officer at OneCom, said: “The telecommunications sector is playing a crucial role in supporting the operational resilience of businesses across the UK and will continue to do so as we look ahead to an increasingly digital economy over the next three years. SMEs spend as much as £8bn a year on telecoms and connectivity which will ultimately fuel and accelerate our growth.

 "LDC’s investment has already provided us with major impetus and further strategic acquisitions will undoubtedly complement the high level of organic growth we plan to deliver as we scale and diversify our services.

“Kelly and the Glamorgan Telecom team have achieved an outstanding reputation as a market leader, regionally, and I’m looking forward to working with them as part of Onecom to strengthen the business’ already-enviable offer for its customers.”

Ms Bolderson, said: “The telecoms sector is growing rapidly, with customers increasingly requiring a comprehensive service offering to support their evolving needs.

"We will continue to be known for our strengths in on-premise solutions, however, the rollout of 5G and superfast fibre broadband presents significant opportunities for us to broaden our appeal.

"OneCom’s capabilities in mobile services will enable us to capitalise on those opportunities swiftly and support our customers in more ways than ever before.”

Yann Souillard, head of London at LDC, added: “Strategic acquisitions have been a core component of OneCom’s growth strategy since we backed the management team in 2019. Bringing Glamorgan Telecom into the fold is an important milestone that will help both organisations take advantage of a rising demand for their services, an extended geographical reach and new cross-selling opportunities.” 

Sam Macalister-Smith of the Development Bank of Wales said: “As long-term investors of Glamorgan Telecom we’ve continued to support their growth strategy as they have grown to become the leading provider of telecommunications and connectivity solutions across Wales and the South West.

"This acquisition is a real credit to Kelly and the team who have worked tirelessly to build the business. We wish them every success.”

OneCom was advised by PwC and CMS while Glamorgan Telecom Group was advised by Gambit Corporate Finance and Capital Law.