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Business Broadband ISP Metronet UK Gobbles Venus’s London Fibre Network

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017 (10:48 am) - Score 1,217
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Metronet UK, which has built its own hybrid fibre optic and wireless data network in several urban areas around the United Kingdom, has today acquired rival ISP Venus Business Communications. Venus operates a 10Gbps Dark Fibre network that covers “all of central London and the City“.

The acquisition follows a similar move last October that saw Metronet UK gobble M247 for £47.5 million as part of their “targeted buy and build strategy“. Metronet, which delivered a good turnover of £21.5 million in the financial year to 2016, is currently being backed by mid-market private equity firm Livingbridge (they invested in the ISP during June 2014 as part of a £45 million secondary buyout).

Prior to the M247 acquisition most of Metronet UK’s infrastructure was only present in parts of the North West (Greater Manchester, Chester, Liverpool, Preston, Warrington, Merseyside, Burnley & Crewe), North East (Leeds, Bradford, Newcastle & Gateshead) and Midlands (Greater Birmingham & Tamworth) in England.

However the ISP is attempting to build a much more national network, including a transit network across Europe. Venus will play its part by adding “six new strategically important datacentres to the Group’s network,” which they claim will help to connect their network to “all key strategic UK data centre locations as well as 14 of the world’s largest and most important Internet Exchanges.”

Not to mention the bonus of gaining access to the strategically important London market.

Lee Perkins, Chief Executive of Metronet (UK), said:

“Venus is a fantastic business which has established itself as a leading player in the London market thanks to its market leading levels of speed and reliability. Just as importantly, Venus has the same entrepreneurial and customer-centric culture as us so I have no doubt that it will be an excellent fit with our business.”

Brian Iddon, Director and Founder of Venus, said:

“I am immensely proud of the business we have built over the past 12 years and am excited about what we will be able to achieve as part of the Group’s wider offer. I have known Lee and the team for a number of years and feel that Metronet are the perfect fit for us as we look to build on the strong momentum we have generated to date.”

Sadly we’re not told how much Metronet paid for the ISP, although Venus is said to have delivered revenues of £7.8m and so it probably wasn’t a small sum. The combined Group will now employ around 230 people across six sites including Manchester, Newcastle, London and Bucharest. It will support almost 34,000 customers (e.g. Intu, Sofology and ao.com) across 92 countries and deliver revenues of nearly £50m.

Metronet UK’s broadband, leased line, wireless and other Ethernet / data services are also available to the wholesale market (here), which has attracted a growing number of ISP partners (e.g. Zen Internet, Entanet and FluidOne).

Apparently “follow on funding” (i.e. additional investment beyond what has already been provided) to support the Group’s acquisition strategy and the investment in Venus has been made by the Livingbridge 5 fund.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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1 Response
  1. Avatar fact check

    “Venus operates a 10Gbps Dark Fibre network”..

    Which is it, a 10Gbps network or a Dark Fibre network?

    Or is ISPreview just blindly copy/pasting whatever codswallop is sent to them be over enthusiastic marketing droids? 😉

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