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GCI gets £60m warchest from fresh backer

Serial acquisition deal maker GCI has changed its major shareholder and been given access to funds to continue to expand the business

GCI has changed its major shareholder and gained access to a warchest that will give it the funds to continue with more acquisitions and support organic growth.

The converged ICt provider's founder and chairman Wayne Martin has sold off some of his share of the firm and private equity backer BGF has sold off its involvement to Mayfair Equity Partners, which now has a majority stake in the business.

With the Mayfair backing GCI is setting up a strategic fund worth £60m, which could be spent on future acquisitions, adding to the five made in the last two years.

During Adrian Thirkill's time as CEO the firm has picked up Packet Media, Fusion Media Networks, Outsourcery, Freedom Communications and Blue Chip Data Systems. That has helped take the firms revenues to the £100m mark.

Thirkill said that it would continue to grow organically and was determined to acquire new customers but it was also not adverse to carrying out some M&A activity.

"With M&A I imagine the [proposed target] would have the capabilities that means we could take them out faster to market or it would give us market share," he said.

Mayfair was shown a three year plan for the business and organic growth was a key part of the ambitions in the short term and Thirkill said that the firm "is very results orientated".

"We are constantly investing in helping support customers and for them it will be business as usual," he said of the Mayfair deal.

Mayfair Partner, Waqqas Ahmad, said that it was aiming to work with the GCI team to make it one of the largest suppliers in the UK.

“The ICT sector has seen impressive growth in recent years, with the UK IT services sector becoming increasingly attractive as customers dependence on suppliers increases through outsourcing mission critical systems and IT infrastructure. GCI is at the forefront of the industry, with a partnership-based ethos and customer service orientated philosophy that stands out in the market, alongside a product portfolio that is tailored to meet clients’ specific needs," he said.

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