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Claranet orders a triple as it mounts European push

The managed services provider has acquired firms in the UK, France and Portugal as it moves to become a major player across the continent

Managed service provider Claranet has given its ambitions to be a European player a major boost revealing it has made three acquisitions and gained access to a war chest to continue the growth.

The firm has acquired businesses in the UK, France and Portugal that will not only bring more geographical coverage but additional security, DevOps, system integration and IT services capabilities.

At the same time Claranet has also announced it has gone through refinancing, which provides it with an acquisition facility of £80m.

The UK business that has been picked up, Leeds-based Sec-1, is a security player that has a turnover of £6m and comes with 60 staff. The firm's founders Matt Hawnt and Gary O'Leary-Steele will remain with Claranet.

The French business Oxalide is a DevOps and cloud specialist with a turnover of £15m and a customer base that includes some house hold names across the English channel.

ITEN Solutions was the target in Portugal and the largest operation with revenues of £69m and 360 staff. The firm had itself been created by merging two of the largest players in that market and now makes Claranet one of the main operators in the country.

“Claranet’s organic growth, combined with acquisitions, has meant we have established a significant operation in the managed IT services market at the European level, which we believe puts us ahead of many of our competitors in the region," said Charles Nasser, founder and CEO of the Claranet Group.

"These latest acquisitions represent a significant step forward for Claranet, confirming our market-leading position in France and Portugal and boosting our Group-wide security and application management capabilities for the benefit of our customers," he added.

Nasser said that the refinancing had also put the firm on a strong footing and gave it the chance to "meet the opportunities and challenges of a rapidly evolving technology services sector".

"We expect to see a continued consolidation of the European managed services market over the next 24-months and we are on a strong footing in all major markets in Western Europe to take advantage of this opportunity to help our customers do amazing things," he said.

Claranet is no stranger to the idea of carrying out multiple acquisitions simultaneously and last year picked up several firms, including a double strike, to strengthen the business.

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