The private equity arm of state-backed lender Lloyds banking Group has financed the management buyout of pay-as-you-go broadband business Metronet, in a deal that will provide an exit from UK growth investor YFM and angel investor group Acceleris.
Based at Manchester Science Park, Metronet provides data infrastructure to over 500 UK companies, from SMEs to large corporates such as Laing O’Rourke and Grant Thornton.
Its services include high-speed connectivity, managed services and wireless leased data services to support CCTV installations for clients including the Greater Manchester Police.
The business was formed in 2003 with the backing of YFM and Acceleris through the North West Business Investment Scheme, an ERDF-funded venture capital loan fund project.
As part of the deal, LDC is investing £11m of equity funding for a majority equity stake, enabling the business’ existing backers to exit and providing additional capital for expansion. The full management team led by CEO Elliott Mueller will remain in position, it said.
The company will use the financing to accelerate growth by expanding the capabilities and reach of its hybrid network across the UK, expanding its sales and marketing function and further investing in its infrastructure and services.
“Metronet has the ideal growth characteristics – a capable and ambitious management team, a clearly differentiated model, the best customer service in the industry and strong market dynamics,” LDC investment director Jonathan Bell said in a statement.
“With a more streamlined and focused investor base, it has the opportunity to achieve its goal of becoming the UK’s market leading provider of independent, managed wide area networking services to business.”
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