Telecoms firm in Whiteley snaps up rival creating largest UK specialist

TELECOMS firm Onecom has acquired its closest rival, making it the largest business-to-business mobile, fixed-line and cloud specialist in the UK.

By Kimberley Barber
Thursday, 11th February 2021, 2:50 pm
Onecom, the UK’s largest independent business telecommunications company headquartered in Fareham
Onecom, the UK’s largest independent business telecommunications company headquartered in Fareham

Onecom, which is based in Whiteley and employs 400 people across the UK, bought Olive Communications, a cloud communications provider based in Buckinghamshire.

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Together, Onecom and Olive will provide services to more than 500,000 corporate and business users this year, generating combined annual turnover of more than £140m.

Olive’s Chief Executive, Martin Flick, has been appointed CEO of Onecom Group.

The new company will continue to be headquartered at Whiteley, however Olive’s chief executive, Martin Flick, has been appointed CEO of Onecom Group.

Darren Ridge, who founded Onecom in 2002, will remain active in his non-executive director role.

He said: ‘I’m really proud of all that we have achieved so far at Onecom.

‘We have seen Olive as healthy competitors for years, and their market reputation for delivering cloud services is unrivalled.

‘The inevitable changes to working patterns as a result of the pandemic have accelerated the need for integrated cloud communications and significantly increased demand for transformation and digitalisation.

‘Bringing these two businesses together will significantly benefit our customers, partners and stakeholders and employees.’

The acquisition was supported by private equity firm LDC, which invested in Onecom in a £100m deal in July 2019.

Growth capital investor BGF, which invested £10m into Olive in 2016, has exited the business as part of the deal.

Martin said: ‘I’m delighted that Darren and the Onecom board have given me the opportunity to bring these two fantastic businesses together, boasting a combined talent pool that is the envy of the industry.

‘This, coupled with ongoing support from LDC, will supercharge our ambitions.

‘Our combined scale, expertise, experience and proximity to customer need affords us the perfect proposition to help customers of all sizes.’

Onecom was advised by Goodwin Procter LLP, while George Green Solicitors acted for Olive.

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