Background

AdEPT, one of the UK's leading independent providers of managed services for IT, connectivity, and cloud services are a long-standing business partner of ICT M&A advisors Evolution Capital. AdEPT has been highly active in the telecoms market acquiring businesses to complement their expanding portfolio and in 2020 appointed Evolution Capital as advisors for the Group’s next acquisition. The brief was to identify, qualify and introduce the company to suitable enterprises looking to exit through a business sale. AdEPT had an exacting list of selection criteria and wanted to target organisations that would enable considerable advancement in the area of enterprise networks and cyber-security.

The Challenge

In an industry where there are a plethora of technology companies looking to be acquired the challenge in finding suitable candidates is an exacting and time-consuming process. Evolution Capital’s mission is to use its expertise, robust methodologies and strategic partnerships to ensure clients get the right solution for their requirements. Finding the right organisations that fit the selection criteria was perceived by AdEPT to be a challenge that necessitated expert advice and guidance. High on the list of requirements from an acquisition included technical expertise in specific market places, an established enterprise customer base and significant recurring revenues.

Further challenges were introduced by the effects of the global pandemic which reduced the amount of physical meeting time normally associated with such a detailed search and fulfilment programme.

Advice, Planning and Preparation

Evolution Capital carried out an ‘in-depth review of the market place to identify appropriate acquisition targets to support AdEPT’s stated objectives. After identifying several potential targets and matching them to requirements introductions were initiated. Potential acquisitions needed to fulfil the stated criteria of enhancing AdEPT’s capabilities and increasing its market share in key cloud-centric growth.

Datrix was highlighted early in the process as an organisation that could potentially ‘tick all the boxes'. It was identified as a substantial, strategically important acquisition, in line with AdEPT’s strategy. Evolution Capital planned and managed the complete process, including the sale documentation, in conjunction with a strictly adhered to timetable.

A Successful Outcome.

AdEPT acquired Datrix Limited in April 2021 for an initial sum of £9.0m which was funded through the Group's new bank facility. Datrix is an established, award-winning supplier of advanced cloud-based networking, communications, and cybersecurity solutions, headquartered in London. Evolution Capital oversaw the complete process ensuring an optimal outcome to the satisfaction of both parties.

Ian Fishwick, Chairman of AdEPT, said, “The Datrix acquisition is the fourteenth transaction that we have completed with the advice and guidance of Evolution Capital. The best recommendation that I can give anyone when considering whether to engage with a professional adviser is that we continue to use Evolution Capital regularly and keep paying for them to deliver their services.”

Phil Race, Chief Executive of AdEPT, said, "Datrix is a high-quality business with a well-established customer base, generating strong levels of recurring revenue and a cash generative, capex light, business model. We are delighted that the key members of the Datrix senior management team have chosen to join us. I look forward to working with them over the coming years and, on behalf of the Board, welcome them wholeheartedly to AdEPT."

Nigel Cook, Group MD of Evolution Capital said, “We are delighted to have advised AdEPT Technology Group with this, our fourteenth acquisition together. Each deal is unique and I am most pleased with the speed in which all the teams - Datrix, AdEPT and Evolution Capital –achieved our end of year deadlines and without compromising quality and value for all parties.”

Mark Thomas, Managing Director of Datrix, said "We are delighted to become part of the AdEPT Technology Group. From the outset, it was clear that the solution set we take to market is complementary to AdEPT's, and that the combination of AdEPT and Datrix expertise will bring benefits to both parties, and crucially to our customers. Our joint presence in the NHS will undoubtedly create new opportunities and being part of a larger group will help us capitalise on the growing and substantial market for advanced cloud-centric networks and cybersecurity."