Private equity firm LDC provides financial backing to York-based mobile communications provider Cellhire

Mid-market private equity firm LDC has made a minority investment in Cellhire, a global provider of mobile voice and data and Internet of Things (IoT) communications services.

York-based Cellhire offers high-speed and secure ways for businesses and partners to stay connected worldwide.

LDC is backing the existing management team, led by chairman Tim Williams and group CEO Martyn Stevens. The investment was led by Dan Smith, partner and head of Yorkshire at LDC, alongside investment director Will Scales and investment manager Ana-Maria Garaba.

Mr Williams said: “Our team has worked incredibly hard over the last couple of years to strengthen our range of products and services. With LDC’s support we’re now at an exciting stage of our journey to broaden our proposition through technology and service.”

Tim Williams is chairman of Cellhire.

Cellhire has built key partnerships with UK mobile network operators (MNOs) Vodafone, O2 and EE through long established ISP agreements.

Internationally it has developed partnerships with more than 40 MNOs and rolled out its first Full MVNO on the Orange network in France.

Recently it has worked with China Unicom at the Beijing Winter Olympics and has established a commercial agreement with Qatari MNO Ooredoo for the FIFA World Cup.

Cellhire serves customers across multiple distribution channels including business to business, business to consumer, white label, partner and machine to machine/IoT wholesale airtimes from offices in the UK, Germany, France, Japan and the US.

In recent years the business has invested in the development of Atlas, its proprietary billing and SIM management Platform as well as expanding its machine to machine, IoT and eSIM capabilities.

This has underpinned strong growth with turnover increasing by 42 per cent between 2019 and 2022, from £19.1m to £27.1m.

Mr Smith said: “We are excited to be backing Tim, Martyn and their team. They are at the forefront of innovation in the sector and we see there is huge scope to grow the business particularly as the business develops its IoT offering and the market opens up to a growing number of use cases.

"We’re looking forward to supporting them as they continue to expand their proposition across the world.”

The investment marks the LDC Yorkshire team’s sixth transaction in the last twelve months. These include investments in BCIS, a cost benchmarking and valuation platform for the construction industry, and Texecom, a manufacturer of electronic security products and services.

LDC is a leading investor and supporter of technology, media and telecoms firms in the UK. It has provided more than £1.3bn of investment to over 130 businesses in the sector.

Cellhire was advised by KPMG, CiL and Addleshaw Goddard. While LDC was advised by Alantra, Squire Patton Boggs, Strategy& and Grant Thornton.