Gresham PE Sponsors Team Telecom Buyout

Gresham Private Equity has sponsored a £32.8 million management buyout of UK-based telecom services company Team Telecom Group from Spice PLC.


Gresham, the UK mid market private equity specialist, today announces that it has exchanged contracts on the £32.8 million management buy-out of Team Telecom Group (“TTG”) from Spice plc (“Spice”). The management buy-out, which is subject to shareholder approval, is led by TTG Chairman Peter Burridge and Group CEO Mike Norfield. HSBC Leveraged Finance provided the supporting debt package. TTG comprises four distinct but complementary telecoms services businesses; Team Simoco and ComGroup based in Derby in the UK and in Victoria, Australia; Air Radio based in West Drayton Middlesex and Indigo Telecom Group based in Monmouthshire, Wales.

Team Simoco and ComGroup operate in the specialist Professional Mobile Radio (“PMR”) communications market, supplying mission critical radio terminals on an international basis for use by the emergency services as well as companies in the utilities, oil and gas, transport and mining sectors and other industries where cellular phone networks are inappropriate. The PMR market is currently worth approximately $3.8bn globally and is growing at around 9% per annum. Clients include the MoD, Anglian Water and Western Power.

Air Radio provides communications systems at airports to clients including British Airways, Servisair and BMI.

Indigo Telecom Group provides a range of engineering services covering installation, commissioning, 24×7 first line maintenance, network operations and project management to major telecommunications equipment manufacturers and telecommunications network operators. Operating across the UK and Europe, its clients include Huawei, Interoute and Viatel. Indigo also delivers voice, data and WiFi solutions for large enterprise customers in the UK and globally.

Paul Franks, Partner at Gresham who led the deal comments: “We approached Spice to see if they would consider selling TTG. Each of the businesses in TTG have compelling market positions in their own right and we are delighted to be investing in this global business. There is considerable growth potential in this area of telecommunications, both in the UK and overseas, and we look forward to working with TTG as they build the business over the coming years.”

Mike Norfield, CEO of TTG said: “This is a very exciting time for TTG. We have a superb management team and have invested heavily over the past three years to develop market leading businesses and products. With Gresham’s support we intend to continue this investment and increase our international presence, both organically and by acquisition.”

The Gresham team comprised of Paul Franks, Andy Tupholme, Mitch Titley, Gary Ward and Simon Inchley. Paul Franks and Ken Lawrence have joined the TTG board.

The HSBC team included Graham Young, Stuart Grantham, Chris Liddiard (Midlands Leveraged Team), plus Guy Rothery and Dave Gregson (Yorkshire Corporate Banking team).

Stuart Grantham, Director of HSBC Leveraged Finance Midlands, comments: “HSBC has supported TTG and Spice over a number of years and we are delighted to enable this dynamic and experienced management team to take ownership of the business. In conjunction with Gresham, we look forward to supporting TTG as it continues to expand its global presence.”

Lead advisors to Gresham and the management team were Deloitte; Darren Boocock and Darren Hodson and Hammonds; Peter McLintock and John Heaton.