Cloud has a silver lining for Iomart with £8.2m acquisitions

INTERNET group Iomart yesterday announced two acquisitions in deals worth up to £8.2 million and said it was continuing to eye further takeovers as it enjoys strong growth.

Chief executive Angus MacSween said the web-hosting and cloud computing company’s reputation as a consolidator in the sector meant it was regularly presented with opportunities to buy rivals.

“We are growing very strongly organically and looking for acquisitions which will help us maintain and accelerate that growth,” said MacSween, who recently said he was hopeful of completing four deals in the current financial year following three acquisitions in 2011.

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“I don’t think we have come to the end of the acquisition trail yet. There are opportunities out there and there are conversations taking place.”

In the largest of the two deals announced yesterday, Glasgow-based Iomart is buying Manchester peer Melbourne for up to £7m. Melbourne provides managed hosting solutions to more than 600 customers, including Scottish-based satirical website The Daily Mash, and operates its own data centres in Manchester.

As well as the addition of spare data centre capacity, Iomart said the deal provides a sales platform to raise its presence in the north of England where it is currently underepresented. MacSween said he had been looking for some time to acquire a business in the region to extend Iomart’s UK coverage and Melbourne “fits the bill perfectly”.

Melbourne’s turnover in the year to 31 December was £2.9m with earnings of £630,000.

The acquisition will be financed from the company’s cash resources and through a drawdown of £5m from the company’s bank facility. Iomart also said it had acquired web hosting business Skymarket in Surrey for up to £1.24m.