Darwin Private Equity backs £21.5m MBO of UK telecoms provider ASK4


UK lower mid-market firm Darwin Private Equity has backed a £21.5m buy-out and refinancing of ASK4, a provider of telecommunications services to student accommodation and multi-tenant buildings.

ASK4 delivers WiFi, broadband and IPTV services to student accommodation buildings, private residential developments and serviced offices from its headquarters in Sheffield where it employs over 100 staff. It also operates a 180-rack tier-two data centre in the city.

The company was founded by Jonathan Burrows in 2000 to provide internet access services to private residential multi-tenant buildings. The firm entered the student accommodation sector in 2005 following the acquisition of Horizon Telecoms, which was established by Jonathan Hudson.

The business recorded revenues of £10.2m in 2013.

The deal sees Darwin back ASK4’s management team, which is led by managing director Jonathan Burrows, as the firm looks to target organic growth opportunities in the UK and international markets.

Nick Jordan, partner of Darwin Private Equity, who will join the board at ASK4, said: “ASK4 has transformed over the past decade to establish itself as one of the leading players in the high growth broadband and TV services market for student accommodation and other multi-tenant buildings. Having built an exceptional reputation with its customers through its focus on quality, we look forward to developing our partnership with Jonathan and the rest of the team, who are well placed to capitalise on a number of growth opportunities.”

Darwin is currently investing from Darwin Private Equit which closed in August 2008 with commitments totalling £217m from LPs including Goldman Sachs, Pantheon, LGT Capital and RIT Capital Partners.

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