European TMT-focused private equity firm GMT Communications Partners has acquired MeetingZone, the London-based conferencing and collaboration service provider, for £38.5m.
Formed in 2002, MeetingZone is regarded as one of the fastest growing technology companies in the private sector, and boasted an average revenue growth rate of 146 per cent per annum between 2004 and 2009.
UK and European conferencing markets are forecast to grow at an annual rate of ten per cent and nine per cent respectively in the four years ending December 2013.
The business was acquired from the two founders, Tim Duffy and Steve Gandy, and Nova Capital Management, a manager of direct secondary private equity portfolios, which has been invested in the business since 2006, as well as other shareholders. Following the deal, Duffy and Gandy will sell some of their interests in the business, but remain significant shareholders, Steve will continue in his role as CEO and Tim will become non-executive chairman.
Stefan Franssen, Partner at GMT, who will join the board of the Company following the transaction, said, “Tim and Steve have built a superb business over the past nine years and we look forward to working with this high-calibre team. With the UK and European conferencing markets forecast to grow at around ten per cent a year to the end of 2013 – driven by the desire of corporates to cut travel and time costs, reduce carbon emissions and cater for increasing numbers of home or remote workers – MeetingZone is ideally positioned to capitalise on its market-leading technology. There is also scope to pursue acquisitive expansion and grow this highly scalable business internationally.”
The deal marks GMT‘s third this year, following the acquisition of Thomson Reuters Professional Services (now called Karnov Group) in April for between $100m and $150m.
The following month the firm made a four times return on the partial sale of its majority stake in German online gaming company Bigpoint, following an initial investment of $100m.
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