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So Purple UK Sells its Broadband ISP Division for GBP800k to Fund WiFi

Friday, May 3rd, 2013 (8:30 am) - Score 1,385
adsl24

The So Purple Group (Company No. 06272441 and 08187142), which ISPreview.co.uk revealed last year had quietly merged internet provider ADSL24 into its operations (here), has now sold its broadband division to business telecoms firm Coms.

So Purple came to life last year through the acquisition and merging of five different north west businesses including ADSL24, Lawton Bailey, RedBox Media, InGame and IMS24. At the time ADSL24 told us that there was “nothing to be concerned about” and that the ISP had merely secured some new private investment to help “grow further and expand our offerings“. An official announcement was promised but none ever came.

It’s understood that the broadband business, which includes 4,000 customers and generates revenues of around £75k each month, will now be sold to Coms for £50k in cash and £750k in Coms shares (£50k of Coms shares will also go to So Purple’s founder). Apparently So Purple plans to use the extra funding to help grow its Purple Wi-Fi division, which deploys public wifi hotspots in shops, bars and other venues.

Gavin Wheeldon, Founder of So Purple, said (here):

The last six months have shown us that our own strength really lies in developing our position within the social WiFi space, providing cloud-based solutions to businesses with multiple premises both in the UK and internationally.

We are working with hundreds of business customers now and have rolled out trials with some major, multi-unit brands.

Our broadband division was no longer a key focus for us but it is a natural fit with Coms and both parties will benefit from the transaction.”

Coms is currently headed up by CEO David Breith, a telecoms entrepreneur whom came into the role during January 2013 after making a significant investment in the firm (his overall shareholding in the company stands at around 25%). Breith is perhaps best known for establishing O-bit telecom in early 2002, which was sold to Daisy Group PLC in February 2011.

At this stage it’s unclear precisely what impact the new deal will have on So Purple’s 4,000 broadband subscribers, especially given that Coms is a predominantly “Cloud Based Telephony Solutions” provider. So far no customers appear to have been informed about these developments.

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