Business communications provider Onecom has acquired one of its biggest rivals, Olive Communications, to create what it claims is the UK’s largest B2B mobile, fixed line and cloud specialist.
The merger brings together two of Vodafone’s biggest partners and the combined group will command an annual turnover of £140 million and serve more than 500,000 customers.
It will be based at Onecom’s existing headquarters in Hampshire, with Olive CEO Martin Flick taking the top job. Darren Ridge, who has been standing in as CEO since the departure of Ben Dowd late last year, will remain as a significant shareholder and as non-executive director.
“We have seen Olive as healthy competitors for years, and their market reputation for delivering cloud services is unrivalled,” said Ridge. “The inevitable changes to working patterns across the UK and globally as a result of the pandemic have accelerated the need for integrated cloud communications and significantly increased demand for transformation and digitalisation.
“Bringing these two businesses together will significantly benefit our customers, partners and stakeholders and employees. I look forward to supporting Martin and the leadership team on this next chapter of our journey together.”
“I’m delighted that Darren and the Onecom board have given me the opportunity to bring these two fantastic businesses together, boasting a combined talent pool that is the envy of the industry,” added Flick.
“Our combined scale, expertise, experience and proximity to customer need affords us the perfect proposition to help customers of all sizes to navigate their journey through the short and long term economic landscape, leveraging technology from our established and emerging strategic partnerships, including Vodafone, Mitel, Google, Microsoft and others.”
The takeover was supported by private equity firm LDC, which invested £100 million in the firm last year to support Onecom’s expansion. Prior to the acquisition, Onecom had announced plans to increase its 400-strong workforce by a third.