Alantra advises LDC on its investment in Cellhire



Jun 2022
Buy-side advisory

London – Alantra, the global investment banking firm and asset management specialist, has advised LDC on its significant minority investment in Cellhire, a global provider of mobile Voice and Data and Internet of Things (IoT) communications services.

Headquartered in York, Cellhire offers high-speed and secure ways for businesses and partners to stay connected worldwide. It has built key partnerships with UK mobile network operators (MNOs) Vodafone, O2 and EE through long established ISP agreements. Internationally it has developed partnerships with more than 40 MNOs and rolled out its first Full MVNO on the Orange network in France. Recently it has worked with China Unicom at the Beijing Winter Olympics and has established a commercial agreement with Qatari MNO Ooredoo for the FIFA World Cup. Cellhire serves customers across multiple distribution channels including B2B, B2C, White Label, Partner and M2M/IoT wholesale airtimes from offices in the UK, Germany, France, Japan and the USA.

In recent years the business has invested in the development of Atlas™, its proprietary Billing and SIM Management Platform as well as expanding its M2M, IoT and eSIM capabilities.  This has underpinned strong growth with turnover increasing by 42% between 2019 and 2022, from £19.1 million to £27.1 million. LDC is backing the existing management team, led by Chairman Tim Williams and Group CEO Martyn Stevens.

Alantra’s UK Technology team, including James Chapman-Andrews, Oliver Norman and Will Fenby, advised LDC.

James Chapman-Andrews, UK head of Technology at Alantra who led the deal commented, “We’re delighted that Cellhire has found a highly supportive partner in LDC to accelerate its exciting growth plans. The number of active M2M and IoT devices globally is expected to increase by 2.5x and surpass 25 billion devices by 2030 and Cellhire is well-placed to capitalise on this global opportunity. Private equity investors continue to show a high level of interest in businesses operating in the communications, M2M, IoT and wholesale spaces.”

Tim Williams, Chairman at Cellhire, said: “Our team has worked incredibly hard over the last couple of years to strengthen our range of products and services. With LDC’s support we’re now at an exciting stage of our journey to broaden our proposition through technology and service.”

Dan Smith, Partner and Head of Yorkshire at LDC, added: “We are excited to be backing Tim, Martyn and their team. They are at the forefront of innovation in the sector and we see there is huge scope to grow the business particularly as the business develops its IoT offering and the market opens up to a growing number of use cases. We’re looking forward to supporting them as they continue to expand their proposition across the world.”

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