Darwin Private Equity acquires Yorkshire-based ASK4 in £21.5m deal

DARWIN Private Equity has completed the £21.5m buy-out and refinancing of telecoms services firm ASK4, it was revealed yesterday.

ASK4 delivers WiFi, broadband and IPTV services to student accommodation buildings, private residential developments and serviced offices from its headquarters in Sheffield, where it employs more than 100 staff.ASK4 was founded by Jonathan Burrows in 2000 to provide internet access services to private residential multi-tenant buildings. The firm entered the student accommodation sector in 2005 following the acquisition of Horizon Telecoms, which was established by Jonathan Hudson.

The business, which recorded revenues of £10.2m in 2013, now provides its services to more than 100,000 users across the UK.

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The deal sees Darwin back ASK4’s management team, which is led by Mr Burrows, as the firm looks to build on its rapid expansion since 2005 and target organic growth opportunities in the UK and international markets.

The transaction was supported by acquisition finance facilities from Investec Growth & Acquisition Finance.

Christian Mayo and Dan Smith from KPMG’s corporate finance team in Leeds advised the shareholders of ASK4, while legal advice was provided by Matt Ainsworth and James Foster from Irwin Mitchell.

Darwin was advised by the corporate finance team at Grant Thornton and legal advice was provided by Macfarlanes.

Due diligence was provided by advisers from BDO, PwC and Deloitte.