Arqiva will acquire Spectrum Interactive for a cash sum of £23.4m after the boards agreed the deal this week.
The agreement will see Arqiva grow its already substantial base of communications infrastructure across the UK with the addition of Spectrum Interactive’s Wi-Fi portfolio, which boasts customers ranging from Premier Inn to Virgin Atlantic.
What makes the deal stand out is Arqiva’s dedication to the wholesale market, which means it will focus its offerings on business customers, rather than having a consumer arm to please as well – like its rivals at BT or Sky.
"The acquisition of Spectrum Interactive positions Arqiva as one of the UK’s largest Wi-Fi hotspot providers, and uniquely we will be the only wholesale provider with no associated retail service,” said John Cresswell, CEO of Arqiva.
“We are well placed to help define the Wi-Fi space for all UK landlords and business providers, allowing us to individually tailor services for our customers to meet the growing demand for data capacity," he added.
Spectrum Interactive holds contracts with 2,100 locations across the UK, which it claims handles more than 1.7 million user sessions every month. It also provides other wireless services, such as digital signage, internet kiosks and public printing booths.
"Our customers and business will continue to be well served by this acquisition and [it] will ensure that our organisation will continue to lead and flourish in what is a highly innovative and competitive market,” said Simon Alberga, executive chairman of Spectrum Interactive.
If the acquisition is approved by the relevant regulators, all of Spectrum Interactive’s employees will join the company. Arqiva told Computer Weekly it expected the deal to be finalised within the next three weeks.