Equistone-backed WHP Telecoms acquires Intelligent Communications Solutions Ltd

Equistone-backed WHP Telecoms acquires Intelligent Communications Solutions Ltd

26 Apr 2021

In its third investment in the last month, Warrington-based WHP Telecoms Limited (“WHP”) has acquired Intelligent Communications Solutions Ltd (“ICS Group”).

Founded in 2004 by Alex Welch and Matthew Riches, with Kevin Doncaster joining as director in 2005 ICS Group has grown into a market-leading telecom rigging installations and design company with headquarters in Braintree, Essex and a regional office in Cambridgeshire. The Group provides full design and build services to multinational telecommunications firm Telefonica in London and South East, alongside delivering sites for many other suppliers UK wide.  

Headquartered in Warrington, with seven offices and a workforce of c.700 people across the UK, private-equity-backed WHP is a market-leading provider of infrastructure support and deployment services to the UK telecommunications industry. WHP works closely with all the key parties in the industry, offering a complete range of in-house, multi-disciplinary capabilities. 

Equistone Partners Europe (“Equistone”) completed the management buyout of WHP in 2018 and set out a strategy to grow the company organically and through strategic acquisitions. Under the leadership of CEO Rob Potter, WHP made its first acquisition, of Sitec Infrastructure Services Ltd, a project management company providing end-to-end solutions for the UK’s mobile and fixed line network operators, in December 2019. 

This latest deal marks the third investment the company has made in the last month following its acquisition of Redhall Network Solutions in March and Blue Clarity Design Services in April. The incorporation of ICS Group will provide the opportunity to in-source exceptional design and build services, further strengthening its position in the sector. 

Rob Potter, CEO of WHP, said: “ICS is a unique company renowned for its design and build capability, something that WHP has been committed to investing in in recent years. They have an excellent roster of high-profile clients that have clear synergies with our wider portfolio, so we are delighted to be welcoming Alex, Kevin, Matt and the whole team into the group. 

“This transaction closely follows our recent acquisition of Blue Clarity and Redhall Networks and we believe that this further strengthens our client service offering, which will benefit the UK’s communication networks as investment in 5G and fibre gathers pace.”

Alex Welch, Mathew Riches and Kevin Doncaster, the three Directors of Intelligent Communication Solutions Ltd jointly said: “We are delighted to announce that ICS will be joining WHP. ICS have worked with WHP for over a decade on a number of their projects so have already formed a strong working relationship. The wealth of knowledge and experience within WHP will enable growth and introduce new opportunities to ICS.  With the support of WHP, we are confident that we can unlock the full potential of the business and the loyal staff that have worked so hard to get us to this position. We are excited and are looking forward to the challenges ahead.”

Clearwater International supported WHP with corporate finance and debt advisory services on the transaction, with Addleshaw Goddard providing legal advice and PwC providing financial due diligence.

ICS was advised by Corrine Spencer @ Birketts LLP.

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