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Six Degrees defers plans to acquire mobile dealers

Paul Withers
March 5, 2012

Newly formed unified communications service provider to review its mobile strategy in three to six months

Managed data services provider Six Degrees Group has shelved plans to acquire mobile phone dealers as part of its unified communication strategy.

Six Degrees Group CEO Alastair Mills said, following the creation of the new business, he would look to acquire at least one mobile dealer before Christmas, labelling mobile as the “only gap” in its portfolio.

But speaking last week, following the acquisition of London-based Cloud hosting provider Ultraspeed for an undisclosed fee, Mills said Six Degrees had failed to find a viable option despite discussions with a number of businesses including an O2 partner.

Instead, Six Degrees will continue to focus on expanding within the mid-market sector, and review its mobile options in the next three to six months.

Mills said: “Our mobile strategy remains under review while we focus on our managed hosting and Cloud services investments.

“The reseller market has traditionally focused on the lower end of the SME sector, so 10 to 30 employees, whereas our focus is on customers with 100 to 1,000 staff. We haven’t found a reseller that has a strong focus on the mid-corporate markets.”

Spend passes £40 million

Last week’s purchase of Ultraspeed has taken the number of acquisitions by Six Degrees Group to six since July – at a cost of just over £40 million.

Mills secured around £60 million of funding from capital funding private equity group Penta Capital when the company was first launched.

Six Degrees Group received an additional £25 million worth of funding from Clydesdale Bank in February to support its strategy of organic and acquisitive growth in the managed data services market.

The acquisition of London- based Ultraspeed adds 100 customers to Six Degrees’ portfolio, taking its total to approximately 1,200 clients.

Ultraspeed serves FTSE 250 companies, charities and digital media customers, including Nando’s, the British Heart Foundation, John Brown Media Group and Bon Voyage Travel and Tours.

All seven staff from Ultraspeed have joined Six Degrees, which now employs around 100 people. It has three offices in London, one in Gatwick and a data centre in Birmingham.

Six Degrees now serves more than 1,200 companies, including Japanese fast food restaurant chain Yo! Sushi and tourism body Visit Britain.


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