LDC-backed Onecom acquires Olive Communications

Onecom has acquired its closest rival, Olive Communications, in a move which creates a larger business-to-business mobile, fixed-line and cloud specialist in the UK.

Business Leader merger and acquisition month banner

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

The acquisition was supported with follow-on funding from mid-market private equity firm LDC, which invested in Onecom in a £100m deal in July 2019 to fuel the Hampshire-based business’s ambitious three-year growth strategy.

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

Olive’s Chief Executive, Martin Flick, is appointed CEO of Onecom Group. Darren Ridge, who founded Onecom in 2002 and has grown the business to achieve annual revenues of more than £90m, remains a significant shareholder and will remain active in his Non-Executive Director role.

The newly-expanded Onecom Group will continue to be headquartered at Whiteley, Hampshire.

Darren Ridge, Non-Executive Director of Onecom Group said: “I’m really proud of all that we have achieved so far at Onecom in leading the market to deliver exceptional service to our customers and forming strong relationships with key partners.

“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 across the UK and globally 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. I look forward to supporting Martin and the leadership team on this next chapter of our journey together.”

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

Click here for more content from Business Leader M&A Month, brought you by Knightstone Capital.