Acquisition takes technology firm into new era of TV

Dato

The Alan Campbell Group (ACG), which provides infrastructure services to telecoms companies and broadcasters and is playing a leading role in the switchover to digital TV, has been acquired by technology services company telent for an undisclosed sum.

Clearwater Corporate Finance advised on the deal, which will enable telent to broaden its service offering to existing and new customers, and will give ACG additional strength and capabilities as part of a larger group.

Warwick-based ACG employs around 240 people and has annual revenues in excess of £20 million. Established in 1980 by Alan Campbell, it has become a market leader in the installation of microwave backhaul links for mobile network operators and also offers services such as network design, cellular installation and commissioning, support services, and construction and broadcast site services. Customers include Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone, National Grid Wireless, Arqiva, Ericsson and Nokia (now NSN). ACG will continue to operate as a distinct business in its own right within telent.

telent, which is also based in Warwick, supplies a broad range of telecommunication and IT network services to enterprises, equipment vendors, public sector organisations and network operators in the UK and Germany.

Formerly the UK and German services business of Marconi Corporation plc, the company was renamed telent in January 2006 on the sale of the telecommunications equipment and international services business to Ericsson.

The sale will allow ACG to capitalise on its pre-eminent position in the market, and use telent’s experience and management strength to achieve its full growth potential.

Alan Campbell, the vendor, will continue as a director of the company. He commented: “I’m delighted to see ACG become a part of telent, a company which, like us, has a truly customer partnership approach to business, and benefits from deep industry knowledge and a high level of technical expertise. I’m fully confident that the combination of ACG’s expertise and telent’s experience, scale and nation-wide field force, will open up exciting new opportunities for both businesses.”

Mark Plato, CEO of telent added: “telent has established a solid reputation for designing, installing and maintaining critical networks and communications systems for telecommunications operators, as well as large public and private enterprises. With ACG, we will deepen and extend our infrastructure offering, particularly in wireless, and gain a presence in new and exciting markets, particularly the UK broadcast sector. We look forward to welcoming ACG into telent.

“Like telent, ACG has deep industry sector knowledge and a strong customer focus, benefiting from an excellent blue chip customer base. There is an excellent strategic and cultural fit between our two organisations, and by combining our strengths, I see tremendous potential for the future.”

telent ’s owners, Pension Corporation, view the acquisition as another step towards telent achieving its growth plan. “Pension Corporation is keen to see telent broaden its market reach. telent can use its capital strength to add technical skills and resources to the platform.” comments Edmund Truell, Pension Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer.

David Ford, a director in Clearwater’s London office, said: “Alan Campbell is a true entrepreneur who has devoted himself to building a solid team and a fast-growing business. ACG has become a leader in microwave deployment and is now playing a key role in the switchover to digital broadcasting. It is also increasingly involved in new areas such as WiMax provision.

“The business has the potential to achieve strong growth over the next few years. Being part of a larger group will allow it the access to a broader range of skills and capabilities that it needs to meet its expansion goals. At the same time it will reinforce telent’s offering in wireless infrastructure services, and open up a new business in broadcast service, which is set to grow strongly following the move to digital television by 2012.”

Wragge & Co provided legal advice to the shareholders of ACG while Pinsent Mason in Birmingham advised telent. PwC carried out due diligence.