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Onecom expands portfolio and reach with acquisitions of Olive and 9 Group

Hampshire-based Onecom has completed its third and fourth acquisitions since July 2019 when it announced a £100 million deal with mid-market private equity firm LDC in support of a three-year growth strategy.

These include the acquisitions of close rival Olive Communications, which over the last five years has built on its mobile heritage to become a market leader in cloud communications with annual revenues of £31 million, and 9 Group, which broadens Onecom’s non-mobile product offering and market reach.

The acquisition of Olive alone makes Onecom the largest independent business-to-business mobile, fixed-line and cloud specialist in the UK, with an annual turnover of over £140 million and a customer base of more than 500,000 business end users.

Darren Ridge, who founded Onecom in 2002 and has grown the business to annual revenues of more than £90m, remains a significant shareholder and Non-Executive Director, with Olive Chief Executive Martin Flick becoming Onecom Group CEO.

Onecom’s acquisition of 9 Group, its second deal in as many months, adds thousands of fixed line and cloud customers and hundreds of channel partners to its customer base and moves its mix of mobile and non-mobile communications solutions to a 50/50 split.

Under the deal, 9 Retail, which has over 5,000 telephony, hosted voice and on-premise customers, becomes a Onecom Group company, along with 9 Partners, which provides 450 indirect channel partners with a suite of integrated connectivity solutions, customer service and billing and analytics.

9 Retail and 9 Partners will retain their branding and continue to trade separately as distinct direct and indirect routes to market, while benefiting from Onecom’s market position, resources and strategic relationships with partners including Vodafone, Mitel and Samsung.

Former 9 Group company eve Networks and the group’s separate IT business are not part of the deal and will remain under their existing ownership.

Martin Flick, Onecom CEO, said: “Supporting and investing in channel partners is essential to our ambition as we go forward. We have a well-established footprint in enterprise and the mid-market, and the acquisition will help us, through valued partners, drive sales of our exceptional products and services to businesses of all sizes.”

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2020