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Oakley Advisory advises Focus Group on the sale of a minority stake to Bowmark Capital
March 9th, 2020
Company Name
Focus Group
Company Sector
Telecoms
Deal Size
Undisclosed
Location
UK

Oakley Advisory (“Oakley”) has acted as sole financial advisor to Focus Group (“Focus”; “the Company”), one of the UK’s leading telecoms and IT services providers to the B2B market, on the sale of a significant minority stake to Bowmark Capital, the private equity investment firm specialising in UK growth companies valued at up to £250m.

Founded in 2004 by Ralph Gilbert and Chris Goodman, Focus provides a wide portfolio of bespoke, integrated communications and technology solutions including hosted voice, cloud applications, mobile, connectivity and IT services. These are delivered as a managed service to more than 15,000 businesses across the UK. Headquartered at Shoreham-by-Sea near Brighton on the South Coast, Focus has revenues of over £80 million and employs approximately 300 staff. Focus has consistently achieved strong organic growth and low churn by providing cost-effective, integrated solutions across a wide range of products, with a strong emphasis on sales and customer service. It has also acquired and integrated eight businesses over the past two years to expand its talent pool, build scale and enhance its product range.

Oakley advised Focus on its first investment by a third party, a landmark event in the Company’s history. Oakley worked with the founders and management team including CFO James Fletcher to identify investors interested in partnering with Focus, as it developed its plan to grow the business moving forward through a combination of organic growth and further acquisitions. This transaction underlines Oakley Advisory’s leading position in the telecoms and IT services market, with Focus our sixth transaction in this sector in the last twelve months. The Oakley team comprised Chris Godsmark, Joint Managing Partner, Marc Horn, Director and Alexandre Beaudet, Associate.

Focus co-CEO Chris Goodman said:

“We’re absolutely thrilled with the outcome.  Engaging in a primary PE deal feels daunting, but Oakley delivered on every level. Our partnership with Bowmark marks a new chapter for Focus and we look forward to delivering for all our stakeholders in the years to come.”

Chris Godsmark said,

“We were honoured to be chosen by the Focus team to represent the Company on its first external investment. Focus has established itself as one of the largest and fastest growing operators in the UK telecoms and IT services market. Its highly developed sales and customer service culture are a key differentiator and attracted very strong interest from potential investors. The Bowmark team, led by Charles Ind and Stephen Delaney, were a pleasure to work with throughout the process and they will be a great investment partner for Focus moving forward.”

Oakley is the number 1 ranked UK TMT advisor by deal volume (source: Mergermarket) and has completed 19 transactions with a total value of £13bn since the start of 2019, with an average multiple of 11.8x achieved on sell side mandates during that period. Focus brings the total number of deals completed by Oakley since its formation in 2007 to more than 140.


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