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Babble continues buy-and-build strategy with addition of Active

Babble is back on the acquisition trail as it looks to keep its expansive momentum going

Babble has added more depth to its communications, mobile and cyber options after sealing a deal to pick up ITC solutions provider Active. 

The move also expands its footprint in the north-west thanks to Active’s locations in Stockport and Ellesmere Port. 

Babble is no stranger to using acquisitions as a way of growing the business, with this latest deal giving it access to a further 500 customers in the north that are purchasing a range of technologies, including unified comms and security.

Babble has struck a couple of other deals in the past 24 months to grow the business in the region, picking up Concert in 2021 and Lake the previous year.

Its buy and build strategy has been in full swing for five years, with the business sealing 17 acquisitions in the UK since 2018. That has put it on a footing that gave it £40m revenues last year and, with Active, access to a 5,000-strong customer base and coverage of most of the country.

“We’re excited to have the opportunity to acquire a business of Active’s quality and that its CEO, Mark [Boyle], will be helping us on our ongoing journey. His experience of business in the north is unparalleled and we are both aligned in Babble’s mission to help ambitious businesses succeed in this region,” said Babble CEO Matt Parker.

“Whilst we’re growing rapidly, our core purpose continues to be to provide all our clients with the personalised and local service that they expect, regardless of where they are in the country. Our strategy of acquiring great businesses across the UK allows us to successfully do just that. Babble is going to continue to grow, which will only benefit our clients,” he added.

In response, Active CEO Mark Boyle said the tie-up would benefit both its staff and customers: “Being part of a company like Babble means we can provide an even better service to our customers and more opportunities to grow. We’ll make sure they continue to receive the same level of excellent service as before, with a seamless integration into the Babble family.” 

Babble: The most acquisitive company

Babble’s buy-and-build strategy, which has seen it acquire 17 firms in the space of five years, landed it the title of being the most acquisitive technology company last year. It was given that reputation for its 2021 activity.

At the end of 2020, Babble got investment from Graphite Capital, and it didn’t take long for that relationship to bear fruit.

  • January: The year starts with the addition of UItracomms to the Babble family, a move that will be echoed throughout 2021 to add more technology depth and greater national coverage.

  • February: Deal number two comes in the shape of Activ Technology.

  • March: The third deal of the year sees the firm move for 81G Blue.

  • April: Babble brings on board fully managed communications-as-a-service (CCaaS) player Sesui.

  • August: Two deals – Concert and 5 Rings – add more coverage of the north-west and south coast.

  • September: Dumfries-based IT and comms player 8020 is acquired.

  • October: Babble makes a double swoop, gaining more coverage in the north-east and Scotland with Digital Communications Systems and Halo Communications.

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