Boston Networks expands with fresh buy-out

A Glasgow-headquartered IT firm is continuing its ambitious growth plan after swooping on an English peer.

Boston Networks chief executive Scott McEwan said the acquisition would drive the company to its next phase of growth. Picture: Peter Devlin
Boston Networks chief executive Scott McEwan said the acquisition would drive the company to its next phase of growth. Picture: Peter Devlin

Boston Networks, which aims to become a mid-market leader in network-enabled smart technologies, has accelerated its expansion by acquiring Northumberland-based 2020 Vision Systems.

The deal will boost overall headcount to 170 at the “internet of things” (IoT) specialist, which is currently leading the £6 million project to build and operate Scotland’s national IoT network, partly funded by the Scottish Government.

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The management team at security firm 2020, which has a strong presence in north-east England and a satellite office in Birmingham, will continue to run the business, working closely with the leadership team at Boston.

This latest deal, for an undisclosed sum, marks Boston’s second acquisition since Glasgow and London-based investment fund Aliter Capital acquired a major stake in the IT firm in January.

The group then purchased London-based PEL Services, an electronic security company, in April.

Scott McEwan, Boston Networks chief executive, said: “We look forward to leveraging 2020’s many years of experience of working in key areas of critical physical security, which will help us to drive towards the next phase of our growth as we continue to focus on applying technology to improve the performance, safety and security of people, buildings and assets.

“In particular, this acquisition further deepens our services in the further education sector, enhances our existing security offering through the cloud platform and significantly spreads our geographic coverage.”

Peter Houlis, 2020 Vision Systems managing director, who is exiting the company but will continue as a consultant, added: “I believe the partnership between 2020 and Boston Networks, with the support of Aliter, gives the company a major platform for growth in the years ahead.”

Established in 2000, Boston works across IT network infrastructure with the goal of improving the performance, safety and security of buildings, campuses and cities.

It recently secured a contract with AGS Airports to upgrade the wifi infrastructure at Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton Airports to the latest enterprise-grade wireless technology.

Aliter said it is working with Boston to “deliver organic growth and target complementary bolt-on acquisitions”.

Greig Brown, partner of Aliter Capital and chairman of Boston Networks said: “2020 Vision Systems is a great addition and excellent fit.

“In addition to the complementary solutions offering and strong management team, it is a significant step forward in our plan to create a national provider of integrated life safety, security and networking services, in key sectors, specifically targeting mid-market UK-based blue-chip companies.”