Manchester IT specialist swallowed by rival

MANCHESTER-based IT provider JMC IT has been acquired by London-headquartered technology and managed services provider IT Lab.

JMC which was founded in 1981 and is based in Agecroft, Salford, has more than 100 staff and turned over £10.9m in the year to last June. Revenues are on track to rise to £11.5m in this financial year.

The business provides IT support, infrastructure services, software and integration and enterprise resource planning software.

Joining forces with IT Lab will create a national business with turnover of nearly £30m, a 300-strong team and more than 750 clients.

Peter Sweetbaum, chief executive of IT Lab, will remain as chief executive of the combined business while Andrew Burgess, who led a management buyout of JMC in 2003 and is its managing director, will become director of integration.

Burgess said: “We are delighted to be joining forces with IT Lab to create one of the UK’s largest technology and managed services providers, and are confident the new company will offer new opportunities to staff and clients alike.

“For some time, we have felt that so much more could be achieved if JMC could extend its range of service offerings, increase its capacity and capability, and extend its geographical coverage — and IT Lab was the perfect fit.”

After a transition period, JMC will be integrated under the IT Lab brand.

Sweetbaum said: “From the very first time we talked to
JMC, we were hugely excited. It was immediately clear we shared the same values and dedication to excellent customer service and had highly complementary skills, services and geographies. JMC is a real force within IT and has proven itself time and time again.

Nigel Barratt and Ian Dawson of HURST Corporate Finance advised the JMC shareholders. David Reynolds, of HURST, provided tax advice.

Andrew Sturge and David Hayes, of law firm Turner Parkinson, provided legal advice.

Dawson said: “JMC is a fantastic example of a thriving north west business. The quality of its service offering, and the exacting standards to which all aspects of the business operate, made it a highly-attractive acquisition target for IT Lab.

“From the outset, it was clear that IT Lab was the right partner for JMC, both in terms of strategy and, as both businesses are Sunday Times Best Companies award winners, maintaining the excellent working environment and employee culture that JMC has fostered over the years.

“Partnering with IT Lab presents a significant opportunity for JMC to develop its business while at the same time staying true to the long-standing values which have served it so well.”

Dawson added: “The transaction clearly demonstrates the continued appetite for high-quality businesses within the IT sector.”