Alex Tupman, the former CEO of AT Communications, is back in the comms sectors as the new CEO of London based Connect Communications following a management buy-out and major inward investment in an attempt to build a £100m managed IT services business out of the current £10m firm.
The MBO will also see significant additional inward investment to enable the company’s growth to become a major player in managed IT services.
Alex Tupman has significant backing from private equity firm Lloyds Development Capital (LDC). A previous Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year winner, Alex takes the role of CEO at Connect having previously established and developed a near £100m communications operation from scratch.
Tupman will lead the company and, working with the existing management team, has plans for significant expansion – including the development of its already successful managed services capability. From the company’s base and network operations centre near Silicon Roundabout in London, and from operations around Europe, Connect already supports high-profile global enterprises on a pan-EMEA basis such as Barclays, Coca-Cola, CSC and HP.
Commenting on the investment, Alex Tupman explains: “It has taken a little time to find such a high quality, well respected and differentiated business as Connect. The business has invested heavily in intelligent infrastructure and toolsets within its service centre that can support enterprise clients on a global basis. We aim to invest further in Connects’ asset light but technology-rich, unique capability; expanding our global reach, our channel and our penetration of the enterprise space, as well as expanding our service portfolio. I am very much looking forward to working alongside the current CTO Martin Cross, and CFO David Rose and the existing management team and staff. We have an exciting future ahead of us.”
Arman Khan who, in conjunction with Andy Thomas and Martin Cross, has led and driven Connect’s successful commercial growth to date and who will consult for the business for a short period, adds: “Martin Cross’s perceptive technology direction has enabled Connect to build a well differentiated and profitable business. It has helped our clients build agility using UC via elegant integration of disparate communications technologies and tools. Adding Alex’s experience and proven leadership gives Connect an exceptionally strong management team going forward, plus the additional financial firepower from LDC to deliver on its expansion strategy.”
At AT Communications, a reseller firm he founded in 1999, Tupman made a series of high profile acquisitions in the early years of the next decade. These included: December 2005: T-Liaison (£1.1m) and Sterry Group (£6.3m), May 2006: Britannia Telecom Group (£3.8m) and then in August 2006: Rocom (£17.6m). To raise further cash Tupman sold and then leased back his own HQ building before stepping down as CEO following the sale of Rocom to Nimans for £12.45m in March 2009.
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