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COMMUNICATIONS specialist Onecom has announced it has acquired telecoms provider Evolve in a multimillion-pound deal.

The deal, finalised last Friday, is expected to bring Onecom an additional £7m of earnings before tax and deductions in the first 12 months.

Onecom will take over Evolve’s operations in London, Cambridge and Shoeburyness, along with Cardiff-based The Word, which is owned by Evolve and will become Onecom’s first office in Wales.

Onecom and Evolve are two of Vodafone UK’s largest business to business partners within the Vodafone Partner Programme.

Evolve has an annual turnover of around £20m a year and is Vodafone UK’s third-largest partner.

Onecom, which currently turns over £60m a year and has its headquarters in Whiteley, is the largest. Vodafone has no equity interest in either company.

The strategic acquisition is one of the most significant in Onecom’s history. The deal will add about 100 staff to Onecom’s existing 350-strong workforce, and 65,000 UK Vodafone business connections to its portfolio of accounts – taking the company’s total number to well over 300,000.

Darren Ridge, Onecom CEO, said: ‘This is a very significant acquisition for Onecom as we continue to grow in our position as the UK’s leading independent business communications provider.

‘Evolve’s customer-focused approach, expertise in unified communications and commitment to providing innovative solutions for businesses of all sizes perfectly reflect Onecom’s own strategy and values. Evolve is an extremely successful operation that will continue to blossom and grow under the Onecom brand.’

Nick Birtwistle, director of partnerships at Vodafone UK, said: ‘This deal is exciting news for our channel and our customers.

‘Both Onecom and Evolve have been a part of the Vodafone Partner Programme since its inception, and they have led the field in expanding their capabilities to meet our customers’ ever-changing needs. This move will see them grow even further in strength.’

Onecom also recently invested £1m in a new distribution centre in Hampshire.

Earlier this month, Onecome was named as Vodafone UK’s Total Communications Partner 2016.

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