Alantra advises Bowmark Capital on its investment in Focus Group



Mar 2020
Buy-side advisory

Alantra, the independent, global mid-market investment banking and asset management firm, has advised Bowmark Capital (“Bowmark”) on its acquisition of a minority stake in Focus Group (“Focus”), a leading UK provider of communications and IT solutions.  The deal builds on Alantra’s track record in the B2B communications segment and comes shortly after MML’s investment in Arrow and LDC’s acquisition of Onecom, both also advised by Alantra.

Founded in 2004, Focus provides a range of integrated technology solutions including hosted voice, cloud applications, mobile, connectivity and IT services to over 15,000 SME and enterprise businesses. The company has revenues of over £80m and employs approximately 300 staff across its offices in Brighton, Kent and London.

Focus has achieved strong organic growth by providing cost-effective, bespoke solutions across a wide range of products, with strong emphasis on customer service. It has also acquired and integrated eight businesses over the past two years to build scale and enhance its product range. 

As part of the transaction, Alantra also advised on the debt funding package provided by a leading debt fund, including additional, follow-on funding of over £150m to accelerate the company’s successful consolidation strategy.

The Alantra team that advised Bowmark comprised partner and UK Head of TMT James Chapman-Andrews, vice president Oliver Norman, associates Luke Parvin and Jamie Dickson, and analysts Milan Vashi and Joe Carpenter from the M&A team. This was alongside partner Andrew Shellard and director Guy Taylor from the debt advisory team.

James Chapman-Andrews, Partner at Alantra leading the UK TMT sector team, said: “We’re delighted that Focus has found a highly supportive partner in Bowmark to accelerate its exciting growth plans. Focus is very well-placed to capitalise on the market opportunity and potential further acquisitions to strengthen its market position. We continue to see strong activity within the B2B communications space and have advised on a string of recent transactions with more to come. Private equity and debt funds in the UK remain very interested in the sector driven by the strong recurring revenues, high cash conversion and fragmented competitive landscape enabling multiple buy and build options.”

Stephen Delaney, Partner, Bowmark said: “We have been following the information and communications technology sector for a number of years and have been impressed by Focus’s outstanding track record of growth, its service excellence, and by the vision and ambition of its management team.  We are delighted to have the opportunity to support Chris, Ralph and the team as they capitalise on the company’s significant growth opportunities, both organically and through acquisition.”

Chris Goodman, Focus Group’s co-founder said “After running a tight process we are delighted to have partnered with Bowmark.  We have an incredible team whose ambitions know no bounds, and with an investor of Bowmark’s pedigree on our side we are looking forward to capitalising on the foundations we have laid and delivering on our objectives.”

Related Transactions