Price Bailey support Comtec sale to French-based Euro Techno Com Group (ETC Group)

Cambridgeshire-based Comtec has been sold to French-based Euro Techno Com Group (ETC Group) in a deal supported by business and financial advisory specialist Price Bailey and law firm Keystone.

Founded in 1978, Comtec Group is one of the UK’s largest value-added distributors of telecom and IP equipment to both the carrier and enterprise markets, and a specialist in supply chain management for telecoms operators and systems vendors.

It serves most major telecom operators and installers in the UK and the Middle East, including BT, Virgin Media, Sky and Ooredoo. The company has experienced continuous growth since its inception and has scaled through targeted acquisitions and sustained international growth. Comtec has seven offices across the UK, Oman, Qatar, the UAE and Hong Kong.

Since completing a management buy-out, the business has continued to develop.  Revenues have more than doubled over the past five years to over £70m.

ETC Group has operations across six countries in Europe and North America. It is regarded as a global leader in product design, procurement, supply chain management and the distribution of passive and active telecom equipment and materials with best-in-class technical and logistics solutions for communications service providers’ network deployment and maintenance. Its 2,000+ customers include major American and European cable operators and telecoms service providers, as well as large and small independent installers and sub-contractors.

The transaction provides ETC Group, which was acquired by Carlyle last year, a strong foothold in the fast-growing UK market, where all major telecom operators and alternative networks have started a long-term deployment phase of fibre across the country to support the ever-increasing demand for high-speed connectivity.

The acquisition also allows ETC Group to serve the growing IP infrastructure market for enterprise customers and further expand its offerings and expertise in data centre supply and maintenance.

John and his fellow Comtec managing directors, John Buck and Dan Conway, remain with the business.

John Archer, CEO of Comtec, said: “We are delighted to join ETC Group and to combine our offering, expertise and scale to further support our customers in accelerating their fibre and IP infrastructure deployments. The acceleration of fibre roll-out will create several business opportunities for which the enlarged group is uniquely positioned.”

The Price Bailey Corporate Finance team led the deal process through negotiations and transaction structuring.  Phil Sharpe, Corporate Finance Partner at Price Bailey, who led the deal, said: “We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to advise on the sale of Comtec. The deal has delivered a great outcome for all parties involved, strengthens Comtec’s offering and supports the continued growth of Comtec’s business. This is the first of many deals I hope to complete following my move to the Price Bailey in April”.

Archer went on to say “I am delighted to have been supported on the by the Price Bailey team.  I have known Phil for a long time, and he has a good understanding of our business, the key issues and how we like to work.  Phil provided some fantastic advice on the deal and helped us achieved a result that the shareholders are very proud of.”

Rich Grimster, Head of Tax at Price Bailey, provided Tax advice on the transaction.

Keystone law provided legal advice to the sellers, with Rob Matthews leading the team at Keystone.

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About Price Bailey

Price Bailey is a top 30 accountancy practice specialising in providing accountancy and business advice to enable the growth of regional, national and international businesses. In addition to traditional accounting services, the firm has a range of specialists in many areas, which combine to provide a complete, integrated business offering. These include tax consultancy, corporate finance, strategic planning, insolvency & recovery and employment law.

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