PE-backed comms firm snaps up Nottingham counterpart

Paul Franks, managing partner of Beech Tree Private Equity

Beech Tree Private Equity-backed Solihull firm Wavenet has bought Nottingham-based VIA, a comms firm specialising in Microsoft Teams and Skype, in a multimillion-pound deal.

Wavenet has its own automated platform on which it offers multiple connectivity and cloud-based communication services to direct customers and resellers, which will be integrating VIA’s platform.

VIA launched in 2012. The combined firm will have 8,000 business and enterprise customers.

Philip Grannum, CCO of Wavenet said: “VIA is an exciting addition to the Wavenet Group that brings highly valuable expertise and a passion for innovation that we are always looking for. Its combination with the wider Wavenet Group will accelerate our growth in our flagship TeamsLink product.

“VIA has been extremely successful in building the platform and management portal for their Microsoft Teams services and we are looking forward to integrating their brilliant platform into ours to the benefit of all our customers & partners.

“We are delighted to welcome the VIA team into the Wavenet Group and I’m personally excited to see our Teams presence grow from strength to strength.”

Alex Tebbs, co-founder and sales director of VIA, said: “Since starting VIA in 2012 it has been incredibly exciting, driving the business through several years of Microsoft UC evolution, from Lync to Skype for Business and now Teams.

“The acquisition from Wavenet is the next stage in this journey and provides existing and new customers with an enormous opportunity to get even more out of Microsoft Teams by leveraging the additional products and services Wavenet are able to offer.

“VIA’s unique management portal and service will be made even better through the integration with Wavenet’s Networking, Security and Technology services in order to provide the leading Microsoft Teams solution available.”

Paul Franks, managing partner of Beech Tree Private Equity and director of Wavenet, said: “The acquisition of VIA provides direct access to the fast growth Microsoft Unified Communications specialism to build on the recent Microsoft Teams launch by Wavenet.

“We have a technologically-advanced established platform, enabling rapid conversion of customers from Skype for Business or other UC software to Microsoft Teams. This complements our existing Broadsoft and Cisco expertise and provides excellent opportunities in cross sell of connectivity, security and broader telephony and IT hosting. We continue to see a great opportunity to build Wavenet, both through organic investment and acquisitions, with the business already more than trebling in size since our initial investment in 2016.”

Advisers on the deal were:

Funders to the Transaction:
Beech Tree Private Equity – Paul Franks and Adam Rudd
Ares Management – Anish Satija

Advisers to Wavenet and Beech Tree Private Equity:
Debt advisers: Clearwater International (Joe Dyke)
Transaction legals: Higgs & Sons (Richard Griffiths)
Banking legals: Eversheds (Patrick Davis)
Financial diligence: DSW (Ed Brentnall)

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