PRIVATE equity house Lloyds Development Capital (LDC) has completed an investment in the Edinburgh-headquartered telecommunications and internet service provider (ISP) Commsworld, for an undisclosed value.

The company provides connectivity, cloud, security, unified comms, and IT infrastructure services to the public and private sectors.

Among its key clients are builder Taylor Wimpey, Skyscanner and Edinburgh Airport.

Established in 1994, Commsworld has 110 staff based across offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Aberdeen.

It recorded revenues of £20 million in the financial year that ended December 2018 – a 41% increase on the previous 12 months.

Over the last few years, the business has developed its own carrier-grade network with UK and international reach.

The LDC investment will help the existing management team to build on the success of the business in recent years and bring its super-fast and resilient connectivity to more organisations across Scotland and the UK.

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LDC’s Mark Kerr and Colin Bennett will join the Commsworld board, alongside CEO Ricky Nicol, CFO Graeme St John and non-executive director Steve Langmead.

Telecoms expert John Trower is also joining the company as chairman. He has significant experience working for private equity-backed telecoms businesses and has held board roles at Metronet UK and Glasgow-based My1Login.

The deal provides an exit for the remaining non-executive directors and private shareholders.

Ernst and Young’s corporate finance and debt advisory offices in Edinburgh and Pinsent Masons legal advised LDC on the transaction, while Oakley Advisory worked with a management team from the Edinburgh offices of Commsworld.

Kerr, Scottish head of LDC – the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group – said: “Ricky and the team have transformed Commsworld in recent years from a telco reseller into a stand-out national network operator.

“Our investment will help them to build on this hard work and success and deliver further on their ambitions for Commsworld.”

Nicol added: “There is an insatiable demand for robust, flexible reliable and scalable telecommunications networks as businesses keep up with rocketing data usage.

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“We have created a network that more than meets those challenges and has already had an incredible impact on connection quality.

“We had the choice of a number of options for investment, but we have built a strong relationship with LDC who share our vision for the business and can provide the right balance of support, experience and contacts.

“LDC’s investment is a real signal of our intent to further invest in our offering and capacity so we can continue to disrupt the market. Rest assured, we’ll be targeting another year of double-digit growth.”