Cloud computing firm on lookout for deals

Iomart ready for big deal after raising £60m from bank

iomart Angus MacSweenCloud computing and hosting firm Iomart has dropped a further hint that it will embark on a major acquisition after receiving a £60 million funding package from Bank of Scotland.

Chief executive Angus MacSween told Daily Business last month  that the Glasgow-based firm was considering a transformational deal that may require it to move from the Alternative Investment Market to the Official List.

Iomart, which operates through a number of hosting brands including Backup Technology, Melbourne, RapidSwitch, Redstation and Easyspace, has made 12 acquisitions since 2010.

The latest was SystemsUp, an IT consultancy specialising in the design of Public Cloud solutions, which was acquired for £12.5m.

Iomart employs  380 staff and reported annual revenue of £65.8m for the year ended 31 March. The company owns and operates data centres in eight locations throughout the UK.

Finance director Richard Logan said: “An ambitious growth strategy needs strong financial foundations. The combination of this increased facility from the Bank of Scotland and our own operating cashflow gives us the liquidity to make further acquisitions.”

iomart ragoutMr MacSween added: “Our ambition is to be the market leader in the UK for cloud and managed hosting services including the growing opportunity to provide hybrid cloud.  We will continue to look for well positioned businesses that can give us the specialist skills and knowledge we need to achieve that, knowing we have the firepower to move quickly when the right opportunity arises.”

Speaking to Daily Business on 9 June, he said: “Clearly, as we get bigger and move the needle we need to make bigger acquisitions. Our immediate ambition is to get beyond £100m revenue and we are looking at doing bigger deals.

“There is nothing concrete just now, but the market continues to consolidate and it is remarkable how many opportunities we get offered.”

He said any deal would be funded largely through debt which is currently cheap, but there may be a need to involve equity and which may require moving from the Alternative Investment Market to the Official List. He acknowledged that this might also help the firm’s visibility with investors.

“Technology stocks can be a bit ‘flavour of the month’,” he said.

Andy Seaton, relationship director at Bank of Scotland, said today:  “There is a long standing relationship between Iomart and Bank of Scotland and we have been pleased to assist the business through a number of acquisitions in recent years, including the recent purchase of SystemsUp.

“We look forward to continuing to support the business’ future growth strategy and capital expenditure programme.”

Photo: Andrew Seaton (left), Angus MacSween (centre) and Richard Logan

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