Onecom snaps up Olive Communications

Onecom has acquired Olive Communications. The companies will together provide services to more than 500,000 corporate and business users, generating a combined annual turnover of more than £140m.

The acquisition was supported with follow-on funding from mid-market private equity firm LDC, which invested in Onecom in a £100m deal in July 2019. Growth capital investor BGF, which invested £10million into Olive in 2016, has exited the business as part of the deal.

Martin Flick, chief executive of Olive, has been appointed CEO of Onecom Group. Darren Ridge, who founded Onecom in 2002 and has grown the business to achieve annual revenues of more than £90m, remains a significant shareholder and will remain active in his non-executive director role. The newly-expanded Onecom Group will continue to be headquartered at Whiteley, Hampshire.

Buckinghamshire-based Olive Communications has grown through organic and acquisitive means to more than £31m in annual revenue, pivoting its proposition in 2014 from being mobile-only to providing cloud communications.

Darren Ridge, non-executive director of Onecom Group, explained, “We have seen Olive as healthy competitors for years, and their market reputation for delivering cloud services is unrivalled. 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.”

Martin Flick, CEO of Onecom Group, added, “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. This, coupled with ongoing support from LDC, will supercharge our ambitions.

“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 acquisition brings together two of Vodafone’s most successful strategic partners. Onecom has been recognised as Vodafone Strategic Partner of the Year for 10 years while, in 2020, Olive was awarded Vodafone’s Innovation Partner of the Year Award. Onecom was advised by Goodwin Procter LLP, while George Green Solicitors acted for Olive.

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Charlotte Hathway

Charlotte is the editor of Comms Business and writes content to inform and educate the Channel about the latest technology and business developments. Got a story? Get in touch – charlotte.hathway@markallengroup.com.

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