XLN Telecom is a provider of utility services to small businesses in the UK, targeting businesses with one or two connections typically. Christian Nelleman, founder and CEO of XLN Telecom established the business in 2002, alongside building an award-winning management team, to improve the telecoms services available to the SME market.

Following an investment of £6m from Zeus in 2008, as part of a management buyout in January, Zeus invested a further £2 million to support XLN’s acquisition of One Bill Telecom in 2009, which boosted its customer numbers by around 25,000.

Evolution Capital worked alongside the shareholders of the XLN Telecom to offer strategic advice surrounding the acquisition of the telecoms provider One Bill.

The Challenge

Through a bespoke value enhancing programme, combined with our unique understanding of the sector, derived from decades of experience and the tireless work undertaken by our analysts, Evolution Capital worked closely with Christian Nelleman, the shareholders of XLN, to ensure the optimal outcome whilst delivering verified prospects to the acquisition criteria, with focus on synergy with acquisitions.  

Advice, Planning and Preparation

The transaction team at Evolution Capital provided face to face meetings with the shareholders of XLN, to establish:

•      A comprehensive review to fully understand the business and its intrinsic value

•      Guidance on effectively removing any potential transaction issues

•      A foundation for a formal acquisition process and the target market landscape.

•      An M&A strategy and plan.

•      Maximising the value through business integration

Maximising the value through business acquisition

As a result of the acquisition of One Bill, XLN now has more than 110,000 SME customers, having successfully integrated One Bill’s 25,000 customers within a three-month period, and turnover doubled to £54 million in two years. Profit stood at £13 million, up 800 per cent, in 2009/10. The firm now employs 180 staff at its head office and recorded a turnover of £54 million in the year to March 2010, revenues having grown substantially from £27 million in 2007.

The Evolution Capital team are delighted to have advised the shareholders of XLN through the successful acquisition of One Bill, set to seethe business double it’s turnover and customer base in a matter of months.

Christian Nellemann, founder and Group CEO of XLN,commented: “By taking a completely fresh approach, we have been able to transform a niche and historically overlooked sector of the market. We have been able to achieve this by combining best quality products with best value pricing and industry leading customer service standards. As a result, we now have a highly profitable and scalable business that will allow us to rapidly expand the range of services we deliver to the small business market. We are delighted that ECI will be a key part of the business’s exciting next chapter given the opportunities for consolidation within our sector.”