Leading mid-market private equity firm LDC has backed the buyout of Wifinity, the fast-growing wireless internet service provider, to support its UK expansion.
Wifinity specialises in providing reliable, high-speed broadband to customers on campuses and other multi-dwelling sites, such as student and key worker accommodation and holiday parks. Based in Kingston upon Thames, Wifinity has built a loyal customer base, serving over seven million users since it was founded in 2007 thanks to its router-free, no-contract, Gigabit-speed service. It is also a managed service provider to leading retailers, and other leisure and hospitality businesses. The business has annual revenues of more than £21m.
LDC is backing the existing management team, led by CEO Costas Demetriou. Wifinity’s current investors, Literacy Capital, are also reinvesting alongside LDC as part of the transaction. With LDC’s support, the business plans to invest significantly in its wireless networks across the UK to further increase broadband quality and speed for new and existing customers.
The investment was led by LDC’s Joseph Fison, Christian Bruning and Tom Jervis. As part of the transaction, Joseph and Christian will join the board, alongside experienced technology executive David Goldie, who joins as Non-Executive Chairman. David has previously chaired broadband and data specialist Ask4 and cloud services and data centre operator Node4.
Costas Demetriou, CEO of Wifinity, said: “This is an exciting development for Wifinity that will enable us to accelerate our growth, expand into new locations and enhance our market-leading services.
“LDC quickly understood our ambition and bought into our team. Their experience in backing and scaling some of the UK’s most successful ISPs also gave us confidence that they could help us realise our ambition for the business as both investors and mentors.”
Joseph Fison, Investment Director at LDC, said: “Wifinity provides high-speed broadband to users on campus locations across the UK and is famous for a first-class service. Costas and the team have a real ambition to not only scale the business but also to further develop their services. We’re excited to be backing the business at such an important time in its development.”
LDC, which is marking its 40th year of successfully backing British businesses, has supported more than 130 TMT businesses with £1.3bn of capital. The private equity firm has backed 30 management teams in the sector in the last five years alone, including communications technology provider Babble Cloud, education technology specialist Texthelp and B2B telecoms provider Onecom.
LDC was advised by Oakley (corporate finance), KPMG (financial due diligence), CIL (commercial due diligence), Analysys Mason (technology due diligence), Foundation SP (IT due diligence) and Goodwin Procter (legals).
Wifinity was advised by Cameron Barney (corporate finance) and Addleshaw Goddard (legals).
The financial terms of the transaction are undisclosed.