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MDNX Group acquires Easynet

12 Dec 2013

Transaction funded by Equistone Partners Europe investment
MDNX Group, the UK’s largest independent carrier integrator delivering optimal managed networking and hosting solutions to the UK market, is pleased to announce its agreement  to acquire the entire issued share capital of Easynet, a global provider of managed networking, hosting and cloud integration services, from LDC. The combination of Easynet and MDNX (together “the Group”) will create the largest independent network and hosting integrator in Europe. The merged operations of the two businesses will operate under the Easynet brand going forward.

The combination has been backed by Equistone Partners Europe Limited, one of Europe’s leading mid-market private equity managers, which will hold a majority stake in the newly formed Group. LDC has reinvested in the newly formed Group to acquire a minority stake alongside MDNX management. MDNX was previously backed by Kelso Place Asset Management.

Highlights

  • Transformational acquisition that combines two highly complementary businesses
  • Robust relationships with an impressive blue chip customer portfolio, underpinned by a reputation for strong service delivery
  • MDNX’s advanced front and back office automation capability, along with an excellent reputation in the UK Public Sector market
  • Complementary knowledge and experience
  • An increased scale of operation, which will allow the combined businesses to offer a geographically expansive, flexible and competitive service portfolio to customers
  • Strong capabilities in managed networking, managed hosting and cloud infrastructure services, unified communication services, application performance management and security services
  • Highly skilled and committed staff

Mark Thompson, Chief Executive of MDNX, will also lead the new Group as Chief Executive, supported by Wayne Churchill as Chief Operating Officer and Mike Mulford as Chief Financial Officer. Former Easynet Chief Executive, Greg Clarke, will take up the role of non-Executive Chairman of the Group.

Mark Thompson, CEO of MDNX Group said:

“Having founded MDNX only 3 years ago, the Executive team is delighted to announce this transformational acquisition. Along with our previous acquisitions, it allows the Company to fulfil its ambition of becoming the largest independent European integrator of managed networking and hosting services.

“The two companies combined create a tremendously exciting opportunity to provide compelling and differentiated services to our customers on a global basis. I would like to thank our prior investors, Kelso Place Asset Management, for supporting our achievement of this significant milestone.  We now look forward to working with our new investors Equistone and LDC.

”Rob Myers, Managing Director of Equistone Partners Europe, commented:

“We have been impressed with the growth that Mark Thompson and his high calibre team have delivered whilst building MDNX. We recognise the extensive experience of the team in the managed networks and cloud service space and view the combination of MDNX and Easynet as a highly attractive investment opportunity.“The management team have a well-developed and clear strategy to create the leading European independent network and hosting integrator and Equistone is delighted to have been able to provide the funding that enables MDNX and Easynet to be merged. The combined business has market leading staff, expertise and systems and is well positioned for growth. We look forward to supporting the team during this next phase of development.”

Greg Clarke, non-Executive Chairman of the newly formed Group said:

“IT is driving huge transformation in businesses across the world, with data, cloud and applications management finding a place on the board’s agenda. Now more than ever, these organisations need a reliable, customer-focused organisation with innovation at the heart of its business, integrated with industry-leading infrastructure and back-office systems. Bringing together Easynet and MDNX has created a technology powerhouse of skills, knowledge and operational excellence.

“Combining forces with Easynet enables MDNX to benefit from the Easynet brand and to develop its business outside the UK, establishing a strong footprint in Europe. At the same time, Easynet benefits from the strength and great reputation of MDNX in the public sector market in particular, as well as its impressively structured back office automation, business systems and carrier integration business model.”

All countries within the Easynet Group will be part of this transaction, with the exception of the business in Germany. For a number of years, Easynet’s business in Germany has been successfully operating and developing its business specialising in the provision of unique high-end IT sourcing solutions to the Enterprise market. To enable this business activity to accelerate its growth further, the decision has been taken for it to become an independent, standalone business. Owned by its current shareholders, LDC and the management team, this independent business will now have a greater level of flexibility to further develop in the area of IT sourcing solutions. All customers stay with this company which will be renamed Nexinto GmbH in 2014.

In addition, the newly formed Group will create a new company in Germany into which all the dedicated network assets from the former German branch of Easynet will be transferred. It will then invest to build a new business in Germany which will be called Easynet Global Services GmbH and will partner with Nexinto in global network business.

Advisers on the transaction included:

  • For Management: Proskauer Rose (Legal); Grant Thornton (Tax)
  • For Equistone: Marlborough Partners (Debt Adviser); Travers Smith (Legal Adviser); Oakley Capital (Corporate Finance); CiL (Commercial Due Diligence); Intuitus (IT Due Diligence); Deloitte (Financial, Tax, Operational Due Diligence); KPMG (Financial, Tax Due Diligence)

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