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Onecom founder Darren Ridge steps down to non-executive director

Manny Pham
July 22, 2019

Onecom secured £100m in funding from a private equity firm

Onecom has announced today (July 22) group CEO and founder Darren Ridge is now a non-executive director.

Ridge founded Onecom in 2002 which has become the largest mobile phones dealer in the country with over 100,000 connections – holding clients such as: Farrow & Ball, Thwaites, Celtic Manor and 118 UK.

He assumed the role of group CEO in November with former O2 group sales and business director Ben Dowd taking the role of CEO. Dowd is now at the helm of the firm.

Dowd said: “I am delighted that Darren will stay in the business. His experience of Onecom and the market will be invaluable to me.”

£100m cash boost
The Hampshire-based dealer also secured £100 million funding from private equity firm LDC, an arm of Lloyds Banking Group.

Another multi-million pound cash boost from HSBC came in April. It now has over £130 million in the war chest which will be used for acquisitions, and upgrade present systems and processes

There are plans to increase the workforce “substantially”. The firm announced the appointment of former MDNX CEO and G3 Comms chairman Mark Thompson as chairman.

Onecom CEO Ben Dowd said: “This investment will help accelerate Onecom’s growth organically and inorganically. The opportunities that exist for Onecom are significant both from a partnership and an acquisitive perspective. Onecom has a proven track record of delivering growth and this approach will now be super-charged.

“The market is ripe for consolidation and Onecom can play a big role in this across mobile and fixed solutions where there is a huge number of resellers. I am very excited to work with LDC, Darren, Mark and of course my management team to deliver this growth over the next three to five years.”

Ridge added: “It’s great to get LDC’s backing and support for our vision. Under Ben and the management team’s leadership, we will see the business grow substantially over the next five years.”

Onecom bagged the best customer service award at the 2019 Mobile News Awards and was named Vodafone Total Communications Partner of the year.

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