IT guru in line for £100m windfall should PE deal proceed

Scott Fletcher

Private equity group Inflexion is reported to be on the verge of a deal for Manchester-based IT company ANS Group, valued at around £200m.

The deal would net founder and former child actor, Scott Fletcher, up to £100m.

ANS would sit alongside Manchester cloud company UKFast, which is 75% owned by Inflexion, as part of a new holding company set up by Inflexion, Sky News is reporting.

Sources have said that ANS and UKFast would continue to operate as separate businesses, with one saying: “This purchase will create a leading group in the UK cloud communications sector.”

Bankers at Raymond James are reportedly advising ANS, while Inflexion is being advised by GCA Altium. A deal could be announced as early as next week.

ANS provides cloud services to both public and private sector clients. It was successful in winning several contracts with the Government as part of its COVID-19 tracing app creation last year.

Mr Fletcher set up Manchester Science Park-based ANS in his bedroom, aged 22 in 1996. The former child actor has appeared in TV shows such as Casualty and Jossy’s Giants.

A firm supporter of Brexit, Mr Fletcher – awarded an MBE in 2014 for services to business and the community in the North West – is one of the UK’s leading tech entrepreneurs, heading up companies worth in excess of £300m.

ANS Group boasts more than six hundred customers nationwide and is one of Europe’s foremost IT companies.

Inflexion increased its stake in UKFast last year following the departure of former chief executive Laurence Jones in relation to sexual assault claims, which he denies.

Inflexion declined to comment.