Manx Telecom is set to be sold once again to investment firms. The ex-BT subsidiary was spun out in 2001 as part of O2, acquired by Telefonica in 2005 and sold to private equity firms in 2010, before being floated in 2014. This time, in a move the board has unanimously recommended to shareholders, Basalt Investment Partners has offered £225.9 million for the company. The offer is 31% over its trading price for the previous 3 months and 51% above its IPO.
This follows a year in which revenues at Manx rose 3.8% from £78.5 million to £81.5 million, in what the company called a “robust” performance across both its core divisions and its international unit. Growth mainly came from its mobile unit, which saw revenues rise by 12% to £22.3 million, with its international unit seeing revenue rise by 5.5% to £17.4 million. The fixed line, broadband and data unit saw a decrease in revenues to £30.8 million (down 2.2%). Overall, operating profits rose slightly to £17.5 million (up 0.6%).
Signalling its future intentions for growth, this announcement was closely followed by news that Manx intends to acquire privately-held IT firm Synapse360. Manchester-based Synapse360 employs 40 staff and specialises in the design, deployment and support of virtualisation, storage, protection, hybrid cloud and IT infrastructure solutions for mid-sized companies.
Manx CEO, Gary Lamb, said: “This acquisition makes sense from every angle…It also comes at the right time as we both look for continued growth in the fast-developing B2B managed services sector in the UK and on the Isle of Man”.
Manx foresees that adding Synapse360’s IT capabilities to its telecoms and data centre assets will boost growth going forward.