21 Sep 2021
Tech-focused investment bank ICON has acted as exclusive financial adviser to Cloud Direct, the leading UK-based Microsoft Azure Expert MSP, on its strategic investment from global IT company Crayon Group, which employs more than 2,000 people in 35 different countries. The deal was announced on the Oslo Stock Exchange.
Cloud Direct’s world-class Cloud Managed Services, combined with Crayon’s expertise in licensing and cost optimisation, will enhance the offering and capacity that both partners provide to their customers. The investment supports Cloud Direct’s ambitious growth and establishes a commercial partnership with Crayon. The partnership brings broader licensing services to Cloud Direct’s customers and takes its specialist Microsoft cloud capabilities to Crayon's customers.
Cloud Direct is one of the leading Microsoft cloud partners in the UK. It is headquartered in Bath, UK, and has offices in London and Cape Town. The strategic investment increases Crayon’s ability to leverage deep expertise in Microsoft technologies, meaning more customers will be able to take advantage of the benefits of the cloud.
Cloud Direct’s CEO, Brett Raynes, commented on the deal saying: "To have two of Microsoft’s top partners joining forces is great news for customers looking to adopt or optimise their Microsoft Cloud environment. Our expertise in consultancy and managed services for M365 and Azure has seen us go from strength to strength. We are very proud to now have Crayon as part of our continued growth and to further enhance the offering that we can provide to our customers.”
Melissa Mulholland, Crayon CEO, added: "We are excited about this agreement as it combines the best of both Crayon and Cloud Direct. We both have the global elite status of being a Microsoft Azure Expert MSP and Crayon’s customer-centric approach to cost optimization complements Cloud Direct’s managed services capabilities."
Florian Depner, Director at ICON who led the deal, commented on the transaction, saying: “We are delighted to have supported Brett and his team on this transaction. They were one of the first fully certified Microsoft Azure Expert MSPs globally, and are at the forefront of digital transformation in the UK. It was no surprise that the business received considerable attention and, as a result, found a strong partner with Crayon. This is a huge endorsement from a global technology player. It has been a pleasure to work with the team, and we look forward to their continued success.”
Commenting on ICON’s adviser role on the Crayon deal, Brett Raynes, CEO of Cloud Direct, said: “It was a pleasure to work with Florian and the ICON team. They managed the process with extreme professionalism and created significant international interest for our business. We are delighted with the end result and to welcome Crayon as our new partner.”
The transaction further highlights ICON’s global track record in cloud technologies and digital transformation. In addition, this deal further illustrates ICON’s expertise in international M&A - cross-border deals have accounted for five out of ICON’s last six deals, including the sale of 360 Science to US-based Syniti, Moody’s strategic investment in Fathom, Quantex’s sale to US Dover owned PSG, JoinedUp’s sale to US Beeline, and Crayon’s investment in Cloud Direct.