Alternative Networks Acquire Echo Communications

Reseller Alternative Networks has announced the acquisition of The Telecom Centre Ltd, trading as Echo Communications (“Echo”), and its subsidiaries for a maximum consideration of £14.3 million (the “Acquisition”).

Echo Communications was formed in 1987 and started life as a mobile phone sales outlet. In more recent years however the company has established a reputation for convergence based sales winning, in the process, several Comms Business Awards.

The initial consideration of £12.0 million is payable in cash of £11.0 million and through the issue of 590,882 new ordinary shares in Alternative Networks to principal shareholders in Echo (representing approximately 1.3% of the Company’s current issued share capital. The cash element of the initial consideration will be funded through the Group’s existing cash resources.

James Murray, CEO of Alternative Networks, said, “Acquisitions are a key part of our growth strategy and we are extremely pleased that our thorough search of many potential acquisitions over the past 18 months has delivered such an excellent opportunity. We believe Echo’s 20 year experience in systems, will enhance our offerings and make this a perfect fit for the business as we consolidate our position in this niche market. Following this acquisition, we will be able to sell more products to an expanded SME customer base, and in time, a wider, more complex telephony switch to a broader customer set. I see this acquisition as a cornerstone in building a comprehensive converged product offering, and it will put us in a powerful position as the PBX and mobile phone become interoperable and convergence becomes a reality.”

Richard Bampfylde, founding director and majority shareholder of Echo commented, “I and the Board of Echo are very excited by the joining of our two organisations. We have been watching Alternative Network’s progress with interest over the years and the opportunity to combine our complementary skill sets was too good for us to turn down. Given the synergies between the two companies, we feel that the combination of Echo expertise in delivering unified communications solutions and Alternative Networks position as a leading Service Provider will enhance both our offerings and continue to deliver the highest quality of service to our clients as well as offer exciting growth opportunities for the enlarged group.”

Echo employs 120 people, including 30 sales based staff and 45 engineers. Similar to Alternative Networks, Echo has invested in its own direct sales force and client managers selling to mid market Enterprise businesses and Small and Medium Enterprises.