Tech firm FourNet acquires global networks specialist

Richard Pennington

Palatine-backed digital transformation and customer experience specialists, FourNet, has acquired global network specialist, 01T, for an undisclosed sum.

This latest strategic acquisition provides Manchester-based tech group FourNet’s critical infrastructure customers, which include the Prime Minister’s Office, ambulance services and large enterprises, with end-to-end, fully resilient network connectivity, eliminating the need for third party network aggregators.

Brighton-based 01T specialises in designing, building and managing high speed global networks and delivering connectivity and wide area network (WAN) services for organisations with critical reliance on resilient high performing networks.

The company’s customers include sports media and broadcast, online gaming and gambling, financial services and market analytics firms. Also, 01T has connected businesses across the world, from London to Hong Kong.

Richard Pennington, co-founder and CEO of FourNet, said: “Integrating 01T’s core networking into FourNet’s cloud and ‘secure infrastructure’ platforms is an exciting prospect, and we are delighted to welcome the 01T team. Their skills, dedication, expertise and focus on customers will fit in extremely well at FourNet.

“This, our latest strategic acquisition, builds on our growing network infrastructure offering and allows FourNet to provide an enhanced end-to-end service for our critical infrastructure and large enterprise customers who have resilient, reliable, global reach network requirements.”

He added: “Essentially 01T offers the ‘underlay’ connectivity to FourNet’s ‘overlay’ of communications, CX and cybersecurity managed services. Importantly, it also allows FourNet to view and manage the end-to-end network and gain more control of network implementation and support, where currently we are reliant on third party network aggregators.”

Founded in 2009, 01T grew rapidly into a managed service business. After a period of further sustained growth, in 2020, it switched its focus to international network connectivity, which is now its main source of revenue.

The firm works with a select group of customers with data-centric businesses that need to move large amounts of data between different global locations, and which have a direct correlation between revenue and uptime of connectivity services.

Alex Lower, founder and managing director of 01T, said: “There’s a great deal of synergy between our two companies and joining forces feels like a very natural fit – 01T has been on a very similar journey to FourNet and that’s why we feel this is the right time to become one company.

“FourNet currently provides an incredible overlay for its customers, but if you are let down by third parties, over which you have no control, when it comes to a fundamental component such as connectivity that’s going to damage your customer experience. Together we will ensure that customers have a first class overlay and a first class underlay and a seamless customer experience.”

FourNet currently has more than 200 staff, with offices in Manchester, London and Derby.

The purchase of 01T is the fourth acquisition by FourNet in the past three years. Earlier this year the business acquired cybersecurity, network infrastructure and collaboration specialists Nowcomm, one of only two Cisco Gold, Master Security and Master Collaboration accredited partners in the UK.

Last year, FourNet acquired infrastructure and security firm C>Ways, and in 2021 brought ComputerTel into the FourNet family.

James Painter, senior investment director at Palatine Private Equity, which acquired a majority stake in FourNet in 2021, said: “Enhancing capability through strategic M&A is a key part of FourNet’s growth strategy.

“The acquisition of 01T adds a crucial network element to FourNet’s offering to customers and we are keen to support the group in making additional acquisitions in the future.”

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