LDC backs Commsworld in UK growth drive

18th December 2019

  • Investment will support the Edinburgh-based business to expand throughout the rest of the UK and target another year of double-digit growth
  • Telecoms expert John Trower appointed as Chairman

Mid-market private equity house LDC has completed an investment in Commsworld, the Edinburgh-headquartered telecommunications and ISP provider. The value of the deal is undisclosed.

Commsworld provides connectivity, cloud, security, unified comms, and IT infrastructure services to the public and private sectors. Key client relationships include Taylor Wimpey, Skyscanner and Edinburgh Airport.

Established in 1994, Commsworld has 110 staff based across its offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Aberdeen. For the financial year that ended December 2018, it recorded revenues of £20m – a 41% increase on the previous 12 months.

The business has developed its own carrier-grade network over the last few years with UK and international reach. The investment from LDC will help the existing management team to build on the success of the business in recent years and bring its super-fast and resilient connectivity to more organisations across Scotland and the UK.

LDC’s Mark Kerr and Colin Bennett will join the board of Commsworld, alongside CEO Ricky Nicol, CFO Graeme St John and Non-Executive Director Steve Langmead. Telecoms expert John Trower is also joining Commsworld as Chairman. John has significant experience of working for and advising private equity backed telecoms businesses and has held board roles at Metronet UK and Glasgow-based My1Login. The deal provides an exit for the remaining Non-Executive Directors and private shareholders.  

Mark Kerr, Head of LDC in Scotland, said: “Ricky and the team have transformed Commsworld in recent years from a telco reseller into a stand-out national network operator. Our investment will help them to build on this hard work and success and deliver further on their ambitions for Commsworld.”

Ricky Nicol, CEO at Commsworld, said: “There is an insatiable demand for robust, flexible reliable and scalable telecommunications networks as businesses keep up with rocketing data usage. We have created a network that more than meets those challenges and has already had an incredible impact on connection quality.

“We had the choice of a number of options for investment, but we have built a strong relationship with LDC who share our vision for the business and can provide the right balance of support, experience and contacts to help us deliver.

 “LDC’s investment is a real signal of our intent to further invest in our offering and capacity so we can continue to disrupt the market. Rest assured, we’ll be targeting another year of double-digit growth.”

LDC was advised on the transaction by a team from the Edinburgh offices of EY (corporate finance and debt advisory) and Pinsent Masons (legal). The Commsworld management team was advised by Oakley Advisory.