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Babble buys again with more lined up for second half

Channel player seals three deals and indicates there is plenty more in the pipeline as it continues to expand the business

Serial acquirer Babble has sealed a trio of deals to add further skills and market coverage to the business.

The theme of the latest deals is around communications, with the firm making the move for NTE, Talking Technology and Unicomm, bringing the total number of deals it has struck this year to eight, and 34 since 2018.

Babble also disclosed publicly for the first time a customer base asset purchase from Glasgow-based Simple Digital Solutions.

The latest targets are spread across the country, with comms and IT reseller NTE, based in Sunderland, specialising in business connectivity, UCaaS, data, mobile and network security solutions. Talking Technology operates out of an HQ in Croydon, and also specialises in delivering communication services to small and medium-sized enterprises. Finally, London-based Unicomm is a unified comms expert serving a customer base across the South East.

The latest acquisitions will add more than 2,100 customers and 30 staffers to Babble, and the firm has signalled that it expects a busy rest of the year on the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) front, with 15 more deals in the pipeline, as it continues its buy-and-build strategy.

“Now more than ever, businesses are recognising the importance of technology in accelerating business productivity and profitability,” said Babble’s CEO, Matt Parker. “Our buy and build strategy brings together best-in-class cloud solutions and expertise across the UK, strengthening our national presence and ensuring our customers receive the support they need at a local level.

“The start of this year has been busy for Babble, with eight acquisitions and investment in additional resource, capacity, capability and expertise to serve our growing customer base,” he added. “We’re set to build on this success with further expansion in 2023, and remain on track for a record M&A year for Babble.”

Annual revenue

Already this year, Babble has picked up Midland Comms, Cloudstream Technology, TechQuarters and Stonegate. As a result of the expansion, the firm’s annual revenue run rate has now pushed past the £100m mark.

The firm tends to make double acquisitions focused on specific areas, including bolstering its security position and deepening its ability to support Microsoft environments.

Babble was backed by private equity investment from Graphite Capital in November 2020, which was supported by reinvestment from LDC and management, to fuel the buy and build strategy. The plans have yielded success with 90% of its £100m-plus revenues recurring.

The latest Babble deals can be added to a long list of examples of channel consolidation so far in 2023. Despite the economic headwinds, the appetite across all levels of the channel – reseller, distributor and supplier – to continue to add geographical coverage and expertise has continued.

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