Alantra advises Graphite Capital on its acquisition of Babble


Value £90 million

Nov 2020
Buy-side advisory
Value £90 million

Alantra, the independent global mid-market investment banking, alternative asset management and credit portfolio advisory firm, has advised Graphite Capital on backing the management buy-out of unified communications provider Babble, in a £90m transaction.

LDC retains a minority stake in Babble, with the management team reinvesting a substantial proportion of their proceeds into the business.

Babble is a UK-based provider of unified technology solutions to over 2,000 small to medium-sized companies operating across a wide range of sectors including financial services, health and education, travel and accommodation, and public services.

The company’s services include hosted telephony (VOIP), unified communications, cloud contact centres, mobile and enterprise connectivity, which enable improved efficiency, enhanced customer service, increased revenue, cost savings and cyber-security in the digital world.

Babble has long-standing relationships with leading suppliers such as Five9, Evolve IP, Gamma and Microsoft, providing them with a sales channel into the fragmented SME market. 

Babble has delivered strong organic growth and executed a series of accretive acquisitions and is well positioned to continue to capitalise on the growth potential of the UK unified communications market. The business will actively seek further bolt-on acquisitions to continue to expand its premium service offering and broaden its customer base.

Businesses that operate in the unified communications space are attracting significant investor interest due to their large customer bases, highly contracted recurring revenues on long term contracts and high cash conversion. This interest has increased through the pandemic where the business model has shown material resilience, in particular due to hugely increased customer demand for remote and flexible working capability.

The Alantra team comprised James Chapman-Andrews, Oliver Norman, Luke Parvin, Milan Vashi and Joe Carpenter.

James Chapman-Andrews, Partner and UK head of Technology at Alantra, commented: “Babble has a high-quality management team that has delivered a proven growth strategy both organically and through strategic acquisitions. The business will continue to build on its scalable platform with the support of Graphite, which has a significant experience in supporting growth of technology-led businesses. We are delighted to have supported the Graphite team in investing in a premium player in the UK unified communications space.”

Humphrey Baker, Partner at Graphite, said: “Alantra was an obvious choice to advise us on this transaction due to their strong track record within the sector. James and his team are well known for their experience and knowledge within the unified comms space and delivered a combination of highly insightful sector knowledge with seamless process execution to ensure a positive outcome for all parties.”

Babble is the latest in a series of transactions in 2020 within the communications and networking space for Alantra, having advised Bowmark Capital on its investment in Focus Group; Livingbridge on its investment in M247; and MML Capital on its investment into Arrow.

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