Redstone spin-off Redcentric is acquiring rival InTechnology Managed Services in a move designed to create one of the UK's largest independent managed services outfits.
AIM-listed Redcentric is paying £65m cash to land the business, which will roughly double its pro-forma revenues to £84m.
Set to close on 6 December, the deal will be funded mainly through a "heavily oversubscribed" £64m share placing.
Redcentric – a brand that was only born in April when Redstone span off its managed services business – said the deal would boost its datacentre, networking and voice over IP prowess, adding to its core strengths in network services, application, systems and security management.
Chief executive Tony Weaver said the move – technically a reverse acquisition –would help Redcentric achieve its aim of becoming "the leading independent managed services business in the UK".
"Redcentric will become a go-to provider in the midmarket for end-to-end managed services as we will be one of very few providers with high-quality datacentre assets connected by a national data network with a significant cloud platform and a broad suite of technical support skills," he said.
Redcentric said synergies resulting from the integration of the two firms – including plans to double offshore headcount in Hyderabad over three years to 200 – would yield annualised cost savings of £3m.
CRN understands that InTechnology had been looking to sell its managed services arm for some time, coming close to a deal with a private equity firm earlier this year and having more recently informally sounded out several other potential buyers, including Daisy. But InTechnology chief executive Peter Wilkinson is known to have been "quite choosy" over who took control of the bulk of the company he founded in 2000, one source said.
The disposal leaves InTechnology with a niche telehealth business and a stake in AIM-listed mobile push-to-talk provider Mobile Tornado.
Wilkinson said: "I have felt for some time that InTechnology Managed Services needed to become a much bigger force in the UK market. This transaction instantly achieves that aim; the two companies combined creates a major force in the market that provides an unrivalled range of quality products and services to its large expanded customer base."
Redcentric, whose business is based partly on Redstone acquisition Maxima, is set to post an adjusted EBITDA of about £3.5m on revenues of roughly £21m for its half-year to 30 September 2013.
Boasting four datacentres in Reading, Harrogate, London and Cambridge with a total capacity of 5.6MW power, InTechnology has about 190 staff and banked an adjusted EBITDA profit of £8.3m on revenues of £40.9m in its last financial year.
In its analysis of the deal, analyst firm Megabuyte said the 7.8x historic EBITDA price Redcentric is paying is a "full but fair price" as it is in line with quoted B2B telecom and network peers such as Daisy, Alternative Networks and Maintel.
"The reality is that InTechnology will have commanded a reasonable valuation given its size, not being a forced seller, and likely attractiveness to other buyers including private equity," said Megabuyte's principal ICT analyst, Philip Carse.
The deal will thrust Redcentric towards the top of the pecking order of pure B2B-focused network and data players with pro-forma EBITDA of £15m, Carse added.
Only Daisy (EBITDA of £56m) and Easynet (£40m) are significantly larger, with Gamma (£14m), MDNX (estimated £15m), Six Degrees (£14m), Iomart (£16.5m) and Pulsant (£15m) all around the same size, he said.
Kate Hanaghan, a research director at TechMarketView, said the acquisition is a "sensible move" for Redcentric, citing the fragmentation of the midmarket space in which both firms play.
"Redcentric is certainly not following 2e2's fatal strategy of acquiring many different types of businesses that cannot easily be (and indeed were not properly) integrated," she said.
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