Evolution Capital, the leading mid-market corporate finance boutique specialising in bespoke advice for the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) market, is delighted to announce it advised on the sale of telecoms business Between the Lines Communication to Arrow Communications.

The business sale offered a clean exit for Between the Lines Communication’s majority shareholder, founder and chief executive Rob Lamden.

Between the Lines Communication is a successful, Bracknell-based, mid-market business that provides recurring mobile, voice and connectivity for a strong customer base of approximately 450 unique business-to-business customers across the UK.

The business was established in 2002 and has grown organically under the direction of its founder to become a leader in its field. Initially it operated exclusively in the telecoms sector, primarily offering landline and broadband services, before expanding into cloud telephony and IT services.

More recently, Between the Lines Communication entered into a lucrative partnership with CityFibre, the UK’s largest alternative provider of wholesale fibre network infrastructure and the builder of Gigabit Cities. This successful collaboration allowed for greater expansion into connectivity in the Thames Valley, helping the business drive a strong growth in profit and local identity.

Evolution Capital was mandated to work with Between the Lines Communication to develop an exit strategy for the company’s shareholders and prepare the business for sale.

Following a detailed and thorough strategic review, Evolution Capital identified a buyer in Arrow, the leading UK business providing a full-telecoms, IT, energy consultancy and service proposition. Arrow’s management team found the deal proposition attractive and that the business fitted into their vision and portfolio.

Evolution Capital’s transaction team then worked with Between the Line Communication’s management, preparing the business for sale, using in-house business sale processes and unique valuation methodologies. This included ensuring the company’s customer and supplier contracts showed a strong pipeline of growth, that the business structure was clean and tax efficient and that all aspects of the company would pass through buyer expectations.

This innovative and bespoke process, which has been developed in-house by Evolution Capital following decades of transactional experience, ensured the acquisition went ahead despite a number of internal challenges and market uncertainty in the run-up to the 2019 General Election.

Lamden added:

“Evolution Capital identified a few potential problems at the beginning of the sale process, which did indeed occur, however the firm’s tenacity at working through these issues was exemplary. The team managed a difficult situation with great sensitivity and ensured the deal got done.”

Nigel Cook, managing director and founder of Evolution Capital, commented:

“I am proud of the time and effort that went into the completion of this deal. When a company proposition is strong, the match to the buyer is good and the adviser is highly experienced and is trusted by both sides you can work through the challenges. We put a lot of work into the deal behind the scenes and I am delighted for the shareholders of Between the Lines Communication, who are now free to explore new ventures.”

Arrow’s executive chairman Chris Russell added:

“We’re thrilled to welcome Between the Lines Communication into our business and look forward to developing a strong partnership going forward. The synergies between the two firms were clear from the start.”

Lead adviser: Gary Smith, senior advisor
Lead transaction: Stephen Taylor, Telecoms transaction specialist