Connect Telecom set for major growth with latest acquisition

Connect Telecom chief executive Scott Ritchie
Connect Telecom chief executive Scott Ritchie

Connect Telecom has acquired the Vodafone mobile base of GCI, one of the UK’s leading managed service providers, for an undisclosed sum.

It’s Connect’s third acquisition within weeks, following the purchase of Scotland’s Vodafone partner, Coltel and Carlisle-based Nortech last month.

As the only Vodafone Total Communications Partner in both Northern Ireland and Scotland, the acquisition of the London headquartered GCI’s Vodafone base now brings Connect’s total connections to more than 45,000, giving the company a truly UK wide network.

“This deal with GCI is much more than an acquisition,” said Scott Ritchie, CEO of Connect Telecom.

“I am delighted to announce our customers will now benefit from a partnership between Connect and GCI, as we’ve committed to a Skype for Business platform from GCI to support our growing unified communications requirements across our base.

“This enables us to deliver a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leading Unified Communications service to our customers, and at the same time optimised support for our traditional Vodafone customers with the Vodafone suite of services - including One Net.

“Connect has always provided our customers with pioneering mobility services, in essence a roadmap to utilise the latest technologies, unifying their business communications.

“This deal is a win: win that has our customers firmly at the centre.”

CEO of GCI, Adrian Thirkill commented:

“This is a very positive step for both Connect Telecom and for GCI.

“There are some simple drivers behind our decision. Fundamentally it’s about enabling GCI to focus its energies around what we can be really great at, and that’s all about managed services.

“That’s good for us, good for Connect Telecom, and most importantly it is great news for our respective customer bases who will benefit from best-in-class mobility services.”

Scott Ritchie, CEO at Connect Telecom said: “I share Adrian’s enthusiasm regarding this transaction.

“It brings together two really strong and complementary capabilities and, like Adrian, we also believe represents great news for customers engaging with mobility and increasingly prevalent ‘agile working’ policies.”

Headquartered in Belfast, Connect’s recent acquisitions now see the firm with a presence right across the UK, with offices in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Carlisle, Manchester and now an expanded office and operation in London.

Based on the Lisburn Road, Belfast, Connect Telecom has quadrupled in size since it was acquired by Mr Ritchie in November 2015.

MTB Solicitors acted on behalf of Connect Telecoms in the latest purchase.

Aleric Turtle, commercial partner at MTB, said:“As a long-established Northern Irish firm we were delighted to be able to provide Connect Telecoms with specialist, partner-led advice in relation to all aspects of the transaction.

“We look forward to continuing to act as Connect Telecom’s trusted legal adviser as it continues to grow in the future.”