PE-backed telecoms group hits acquisition trail again with Northern Ireland deal

Rob Potter
X The Business Desk

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Warrington-based WHP Telecoms has acquired Blue Clarity Design Services, near Newry, Northern Ireland , for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in 2013 by Darren Fenton, Blue Clarity is a wireless design company with headquarters in County Down and a regional office in Glasgow.

The specialist firm provides full acquisition and design services to operators, multi-site providers and small works contractors throughout the UK and Ireland.

PE-backed WHP has seven offices and a workforce of around 700 people across the UK. It is a provider of infrastructure support and deployment services to the UK telecommunications industry and works closely with all the key parties in the industry, offering a complete range of in house, multi-disciplinary capabilities.

Private equity firm Equistone Partners Europe completed the management buyout of WHP in 2018 and set out a strategy to grow the company organically and through strategic acquisitions.

Under the leadership of CEO Rob Potter, WHP made its first acquisition, of Sitec Infrastructure Services, a project management company providing end-to-end solutions for the UK’s mobile and fixed line network operators, in December 2019.

The transaction was followed by the acquisition of Redhall Network Solutions, a Derbyshire-based service provider to the mobile telecommunications and broadcast sectors, last month, adding robust maintenance and update capabilities.

This latest transaction provides WHP the opportunity to in-source outstanding design and survey capabilities, further strengthening its position in the sector.

Rob Potter said: “The team at Blue Clarity have developed an excellent reputation for their design capability in recent years and we are delighted to be welcoming them into WHP.

“Design expertise and capacity are key enablers to delivering the high volume complex programmes that our customers require. This acquisition strengthens the engineering base of the group and adds to our technical offering.”

He added: “WHP has worked closely with Blue Clarity for several years and we are delighted to be welcoming Hugh, Darren and the whole team into the group. This transaction closely follows our recent acquisition of Redhall Network Solutions and we believe that this further strengthens our client service offering, which will benefit the UK’s communication networks as investment in 5G and fibre gathers pace.”

Darren Fenton and Hugh Morgan, directors of Blue Clarity, jointly said: “We are thrilled to announce that Blue Clarity will be joining WHP.
“This will provide the support and opportunity for Blue Clarity to grow and develop further within the telecoms market.

“This has all been made possible by the hard work and dedication of the overall team behind Blue Clarity. We are looking forward to supporting the WHP group, alongside our current customer base.”

Clearwater International supported WHP with corporate finance and debt advisory services on the transaction, with Addleshaw Goddard providing legal advice and PwC providing financial due diligence.

Blue Clarity was advised by Mills Selig and Baker Tilly Mooney Moore.