Basingstoke-based Southern Communications, one of the leading telecoms and data solution providers for UK SMEs, is to target further acquisitions in the telecoms and digital sectors following an increase in existing debt facilities from a syndicate led by Santander Corporate & Commercial, alongside HSBC and Aviva Investors (“Aviva”).
Southern Communications traces its roots to 1965 as a telecoms service provider and has, over the past 50 years, grown into one of the UK’s leading B2B telecoms and data service providers. It now offers a broad suite of market-leading voice and data products to almost 8,000 SME clients. The firm has successfully completed 13 acquisitions since 2013, which together with strong organic growth has seen the business grow exponentially and further improve its service and product capability.
The business has been a Santander customer since 2013 and was the bank’s first Growth Capital loan client (facilities designed for high-growth SME’s). The additional facilities provided under this most recent transaction have been delivered by an increase in existing club participations from Santander and HSBC along with the introduction of new funding from Santander’s Direct Lending Partner, Aviva, who join the existing club.
Paul Bradford, Chief Executive, Southern Communications Ltd, said: “Our objective is to become the preferred telecom solution provider for SME businesses across the UK, led by best-in-class customer service and products. We have focused on service and product excellence while at the same time executing a series of targeted acquisitions, and remain excited by the pipeline of opportunities currently and in future. This latest funding gives us the means to continue to realise our ambitions. The process bringing Aviva on board, overseen by Santander, was well-run and delivered on time in a relatively tight timetable.”
Saul Proctor, Director - Financial Sponsors, Structured Finance Group, Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support the team at Southern Communications with this latest uplift in funding and the first transaction with our Direct Lending Partner, Aviva Investors. The firm has a proven, highly successful acquisition track record, which has added significant scale and capability. Additional acquisitions will only increase further Southern Communications’ already strong competitive advantage.”
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