Telecoms group in latest acquisition with North West deal

Christian Bleakley

Firstcom Europe, the Bolton-based pan European telecoms business, has acquired a Warrington telecoms firm, for an undisclosed sum.

Its takeover of Raspberry Beret will add a further £1.4m to Firstcom’s turnover, with 90% of this recurring.

Raspberry Beret has been operating for 12 years. It has a loyal customer base with low churn and broad adoption of mobile phones and unified communication products.

Firstcom Europe CEO, Christian Bleakley, said: “This is the sort of company I love to buy.

“It has a strong and personal relationship with its customers that has been built up over many years. I am delighted that the staff of Raspberry Beret have decided to stay on with us, they will complement the skill sets of our own people.

“It’s also great to reinforce our presence in the North West where we are proud to call home and many of our UK customers are based.”

The Raspberry Beret customers tend to be larger than those of Firstcom Europe, providing an opportunity for Firstcom to deliver new cloud solutions from its expanding product portfolio.

Mr Bleakley added: “I am looking forward to the challenge and I expect that our new customers will enjoy the benefits of our cloud products.”

Kevin Walton, CEO and founder of Raspberry Beret, said he was pleased his team would be able to progress in their careers as a result of being part of the bigger company: “I owe my staff a huge thank you for their loyalty over the years and also for their day to day commitment to the company ethos of putting the customer first.

“Staff commitment and customer satisfaction have made this job very rewarding, and I am proud of what we have achieved together.”

Firstcom said it is on a mission to expand through acquisition. This is the third of three company and database purchases the company has made in the past two months, and it is on the lookout for more.

Kartesia has backed Firstcom Europe to the tune of £30m for its debt refinancing and buy and build strategy. Firstcom receives legal advice from Knights for its acquisitions. According to Bleakley “there are more exciting M&A opportunities in the pipeline”.