PE company makes major investment into cloud services specialist

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Advised on deals worth £300m in the first half of 2017

Manchester private equity investor Livingbridge has made an undisclosed investment into Hull-based Giacom, a specialist cloud services marketplace which provides cloud services to the SME market via the information technology consultants (ITC) community.

Giacom offers a one-stop platform for all of the cloud software, infrastructure and IT support services that information technology consultants may require to transition an SME client into a public or private cloud environment and then manage them on an ongoing basis.

Underpinned by a Microsoft 2-Tier Cloud Solution Provider licence, Giacom has rapidly become the vendor of choice for more than 4,000 ITCs enabling the business to service a fast-growing addressable market estimated to be worth about £2.2bn.

The investment from Livingbridge facilitates a management buyout of the business by Giacom chief executive Mike Wardell and his team from the founder, Nick Marshall.

LDC backed the business in 2016 and is now exiting and reinvesting alongside Livingbridge for a minority stake to support Giacom’s ongoing growth strategy.

The business plans to build on the strong momentum it has generated to date by continuing to expand its network with ITCs, cross-selling more products and services across the marketplace and through strategic M&A. Graham Gilbert will remain as chairman.

Wardell said: “Following a year of rapid growth which saw us double our revenues, we believe that now is the right time to secure new financial backing and accelerate our growth plans.

“Livingbridge’s track record of supporting other high growth businesses such as ours, combined with their experience of investing in the tech sector, means they are uniquely positioned to work with us and I am excited about our future partnership with them.

“I would like to thank LDC for their backing and support to date and am looking forward to the next phase of our growth strategy.”

Matthew Caffrey from Livingbridge said: “We are very excited to be working with Mike and the team during the next phase of Giacom’s growth.

“The business is extremely well positioned to capitalise on a significant market opportunity underpinned by SMEs increasingly migrating their applications and infrastructure into the cloud. Giacom’s marketplace platform is well placed to continue to disrupt the market and drive growth.”

Simon Braham, investment director at LDC in Manchester, added: “Thanks to the determination of Nick, Mike and the team, the strength of Giacom’s offering and the market demand for cloud-based solutions, the business has fully delivered on its strategic objectives and growth plans to date.”

A Manchester team at GCA Altium, led by managing director Adrian Reed, director Dom Orsini, associate Phil Chadwick and analyst Hamzah Shakoor, advised Livingbridge.

The deal represents GCA’s 28th transaction in the software and tech-enabled services sectors since the start of 2017.

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