14 Mar 2023
ICON has advised the shareholders of TechQuarters, a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider on its sale to Babble, which is backed by Graphite Capital.
TechQuarters implements and supports Microsoft Cloud solutions, providing digital transformation to UK businesses, exclusively focused on Microsoft. It includes a mix of annual licences (Azure and 365) and IT support contracts and has over 450 UK clients, mainly SMEs. TechQuarters has a unique training portal and was previously named Microsoft World Cloud Partner of the Year for SMBs, illustrating the quality of the business.
Founded by Chris Dunning (CEO), the day-to-day business is run by Operations Director Mark O’Dell. The pair has built strong systems and processes to help automate and scale the business and developed a highly successful remote and off-shore model for 24/7 IT support. It has really impressive financials with 85% recurring revenue and a strong sales engine growing at 40% a year. Yet Mark and Chris still find time to be keen triathletes!
Babble is a fast-growing business, backed by private equity (Graphite and LDC) and has aggressively expanded by acquisition, buying an impressive 29 companies since 2019. This deal accelerates Babble’s move from its Communications Services roots to being a broader Cloud Service Provider in both Comms and IT at the convergence of the two sectors.
Matt Parker, CEO of Babble, said, “This deal accelerates our capabilities for the full range of Microsoft Solutions that businesses rely upon and cements Babble as the only UK Cloud Service Provider of both Comms and IT MSP solutions at scale. The acquisition of TechQuarters will allow us to further diversify and broaden our offering, in order for more companies to successfully adopt the cloud.”
Chris Dunning, CEO and Founder of TechQuarters, said, “A big thank you to Brian and Will at ICON for managing our exit process and getting us an amazing result. ICON were invaluable; safely advising us from start to finish and creating great competitive tension that was key in maximising our value. ICON’s deep sector expertise, commitment and deal knowledge were integral to us finding the right buyer and closing a cash deal that exceeded our expectations. I have no hesitation in recommending them.”
Brian Parker, Head of M&A at ICON Corporate Finance, (and no relation to Matt), said, “This is a fantastic exit for a hugely impressive business and Babble offered attractive terms but also a dynamic vision of the future. We know the sector well and introduced over 20 companies that expressed serious interest and received 7 very competitive, cash offers. It shows there is still very strong M&A buyer interest in 2023 for digital transformation, and IT Managed Services in particular.”