Maven and its co-investment partner Penta Capital have sold the data hosting and managed services business Six Degrees Group (6DG) to Charlesbank Capital Partners, delivering a return in excess of 2x for investors.
6DG provides integrated managed data solutions linking people, places and cloud networks, leveraging its next generation network assets to deliver a fully integrated range of cloud, datacentre, connectivity and voice services. The business has grown both organically and through acquisition to become a leading converged managed services provider to the UK mid-market. 6DG is led by Alastair Mills, who has a strong track record in the telecoms sector having sold his previous venture, Spiritel, to AIM-listed communications business Daisy Group for £27 million in 2010.
In 2011 Maven clients joined a syndicate of investors led by Penta in the £60 million transaction which established 6DG. This was the second transaction which Maven had made in partnership with Penta, having previously supported the MBO of esure from Lloyds Banking Group Plc in 2010.
Throughout the period of Maven’s investment 6DG to completed 13 acquisitions through a buy-and-build strategy, growing annual revenues to £70 million with annual earnings reaching close to £20 million.
The acquisition of 6DG by the Boston-based private equity firm Charlesbank has not only delivered excellent returns to Maven investors in little over 4 years but will also enable to business to enter its next growth phase, accessing substantial additional capital to fund the company’s ambitious M&A programme.
Andrew Ferguson, Partner at Maven, said: “Under the leadership of Alastair Mills Six Degrees has become a market leading provider of telecommunication & IT services to the SME sector. When we first met with Alastair and his team it was obvious that they not only had a compelling strategy to consolidate complementary service providers in the sector, but critically had the track record and experience to deliver on that promise. That they successfully made and integrated thirteen acquisitions over a three year period is testament to their abilities. The sale of Six Degrees, which generated a significant return for our funds, demonstrates the continuing strong private equity demand for companies in the IT services space particularly when the incumbent management team are as strong as 6DG’s."