Giacom advised by Alantra on sale to Digital Wholesale Solutions

23 November 2020 3 min. read

Alantra has advised on the sale of Giacom, the UK’s largest independent cloud portal, to Digital Wholesale Solutions. The deal is the consultancy’s sixth transaction in the cloud services space during 2020.

Giacom is the UK’s largest independent cloud portal, serving over 70,000 end-user SMEs through a specialised, large-scale distribution platform. The Hull based company has offered a one-stop platform for all the cloud software, infrastructure and IT services that Information Technology Consultants (ITC) might require to transition their SME clients into public or private cloud environments and then manage them on an ongoing basis.

In 2015, Giacom received an investment from private equity house Livingbridge, and led by CEO Mike Wardell, the firm has transformed in recent years into a Cloud Marketplace and indirect cloud software provider. Capitalising on the industry shift towards cloud-based solutions, this has enabled the business to deliver huge revenue growth over the last four years, growing at a CAGR of more than 50% – even continuing to deliver this growth throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. With heightened demand for cloud services amid the lockdown, it recently passed the milestone of one million product licenses sold.

Understandably, this meteoric growth gained the attention of potential buyers. The sale of the business to Digital Wholesale Solutions, a division of Daisy group, sees a successful exit for Livingbridge, as well as an exit for minority shareholder LDC, which originally invested in Giacom in 2016.

Giacom advised by Alantra on sale to Digital Wholesale Solutions

Independent global consultancy Alantra specialises in helping clients in mid-market investment banking, alternative asset management and credit portfolio advisory firm. A team from the firm comprising of James Chapman-Andrews, Oliver Norman, Jamie Dickson, Milan Vashi and Joe Carpenter advised the shareholders of Giacom on the sale to Digital Wholesale Solutions.

Mike Wardell, CEO of Giacom, commented, “Alantra’s experience in ICT and specifically within the platforms space, plus their ongoing relationship with Livingbridge made them a standout choice to advise us on this transaction. James and his team were extremely knowledgeable of our business and their guidance and tireless input throughout the process, particularly in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, helped ensure a positive outcome for all parties involved. It was a pleasure to work with all of the team.”

The sale of Giacom is the latest example of Alantra’s heightened experience in the cloud services and communications market. It marks the sixth transaction Alantra has advised on in the space in 2020, having supported Graphite Capital with its £90 million acquisition of Babble, as well as advising Sol-Tec on its sale to IT Lab, Bowmark Capital on its investment in Focus Group, Livingbridge on its reinvestment in M247, and MML Capital on its investment into Arrow.

After working on the deal, Chapman-Andrews, who is UK Head of Technology at Alantra, said, “We are delighted to have advised the shareholders of Giacom on the sale of the business to Digital Wholesale Solutions. Giacom is a unique market leader in providing cloud software and services to the UK SME market and this combination with Digital Wholesale Solutions is a huge step towards the true convergence of the provision of communications and IT services to the UK SME market. The combined business is perfectly positioned to capitalise on the acceleration to cloud services and should be one of the most accretive deals we will see in the market for some time.”

Earlier in the year, Alantra also advised the shareholders of global healthcare communications consultancy 90TEN on the sale of the business. Envision Pharma Group, a private equity-backed provider of communication services and technology solutions, purchased the organisation.