Clearwater rings up another deal


Sterry Communications Limited, a service led voice and data reseller has been acquired by AT Communications plc, the AIM listed business to business communications provider in an £8 million plus deal.

With offices in Stockport, near Manchester and London, Sterry’s core activities include the supply, installation and maintenance of digital telephone systems together with telecoms engineering work. The company also supplies a range of data network products. Key clients include; Avaya, BT, Nortel, Cisco and Ericsson.

Commenting on the acquisition, Alex Tupman, AT Communications plc’s chief executive said; “Sterry has an attractive blue chip customer base which delivers strong recurring revenues. The acquisition will not only bring about cross selling opportunities within the customer base but will also extend AT’s offerings with Sterry’s additional accreditation partnerships, product ranges and support network.”

Sterry was formed in 1991 following the merger of two telephone maintenance companies, Dial-a Phone and CES. In 1995, private equity houses 3i and Royal Bank Development Capital backed the management team in an MBO, led by Geoff Keevil.

Sterry employs around 150 people of which approximately half are field based communications engineers. The remainder are split equally between its two sites. The combined turnover of Sterry and AT Communications is now approximately £24 million.

Advising the shareholders, which included 3i and Royal Bank Development Capital, were Marc Gillespie and Ben Wilson of Clearwater Corporate Finance.

Clearwater partner Marc Gillespie added; “Sterry is well positioned to take advantage of the convergence in voice and data systems and represents a good strategic acquisition for AT Communications”.