Magnet Networks has acquired the Irish retail business division of Imagine Communications Group in an all-cash transaction. The deal will see Magnet Networks become the third largest provider of business telecoms in Ireland.*
The new enlarged Magnet Business division will have 11,000 Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) and corporate customers following the transaction. Magnet will employ 95 people, including the 17 new staff from the acquired business, with plans to hire additional people in the coming months.
Imagine’s sale of its retail business division forms part of its strategic focus on the national rollout of its new advanced 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network*, which will bring much needed competitive high-speed broadband services to businesses and consumers in regional and rural Ireland.
Established in 2004, Magnet Networks, with the support of its parent Columbia Ventures Corporation (CVC), has invested in excess of €120 million in developing an advanced telecoms network which has enabled the company to acquire a strong reputation in the business telecoms market, counting Amazon, ESB, Adobe, Lidl, Fáilte Ireland and Centra as clients.
Magnet offers a range of broadband, wi-fi, voice and cloud telephony solutions along with cyber security and managed services. It is headquartered in Dublin with offices in the Galway, London and Pune in India.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Mark Kellett, CEO of Magnet Networks, said:
“The acquisition of Imagine’s retail business division is a step-change acquisition for Magnet, placing us as the third largest telecoms provider to the business community in Ireland. Our strategy is to provide a credible choice to businesses of all sizes across Ireland based on the quality of our network and range of services, which we believe are the best in the country. We are delighted to welcome our new customers and staff to Magnet.”
Magnet Networks focuses on a mix of organic and acquired growth and has previously made a number of acquisitions, which it has successfully merged into its operations. In 2005, the company bought wireless broadband provider Leap and later added Internet Services Provider (ISP) Netsource to complement its business division. Three years later it bought Irish VoIP provider, Glantel, and in 2012 it acquired a 90% share of Velocity 1 as it expanded into the UK market.
Magnet will use the Imagine network to provide existing and new business customers with wireless broadband services. As its launch retail customer, Magnet will also leverage Imagine’s new fibre-powered LTE network to enhance the reach and range of cloud telecoms services available to regional SMEs, as part of its efforts to bridge the digital divide.
Speaking of the deal Sean Bolger, CEO for Imagine Communications Group said: “With the industry shift to next generation infrastructure driven by the need and demand for high- speed broadband and IP services, the strategic opportunity and focus of Imagine and its investors is to extend the reach and deliver fibre-based next-gen services to regional and rural communities across Ireland. Key to delivering this strategy, and the full benefit to businesses and consumers, is our open wholesale partnership approach facilitating existing and new innovative service providers.
Magnet’s focus on delivering excellent service, combined with its innovative business solutions and its commitment to bringing these solutions to businesses in regional and rural areas, made it the ideal home for our existing business customers. We wish them, our loyal customers and great business team every success.”
*Ranking based on landline telephone provider numbers from the 2015 ICT Business Survey (SME Market). Landline share is the nearest proxy for overall B2B share.