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BGF exits investment in GCI

GCI, the converged ICT services company, has been acquired by Mayfair Private Equity as it moves to the next stage of its growth strategy. BGF, which has backed GCI since 2012, has exited its investment as part of the deal.

Founded in 1998, Lincoln-headquartered GCI has become the largest privately-owned ICT service provider in the UK. The company, whose customers include Lush Cosmetics, Parliamentary Digital Services, Merlin Entertainments, the Heritage Lottery Fund and BGF, has grown organically and through an ambitious and successful acquisition strategy.

GCI has bought 12 businesses since BGF’s £10m investment, including, most recently, Poole-headquartered Blue Chip, the firm’s largest acquisition to date. Acquisitions have focused on strengthening the service offering to customers as well as expanding GCI’s footprint in the UK. As a result, revenues have doubled to in excess of £100m whilst the team has grown from 150 to 500 people.

BGF’s investment also enabled Chair and founder Wayne Martin and CEO Adrian Thirkill to broaden GCI’s management team through the appointments of a chief marketing officer, chief technology officer and chief commercial officer.

Wayne, who established the businesses 20 years ago, has reduced his shareholding while Adrian, who has overseen an accelerated buy and build strategy since he joined the business in 2015, will continue in his role supported by his management team.

Wayne Martin, founder and Chair, GCI said: “This has been a phenomenal journey for GCI. The growth of the company has been testament to our ever-growing team, customers, partners and BGF, whose investment was a game-changer. Their funding and support enabled us to build the team and move quickly to respond to opportunities in the market.

“GCI has earned a fantastic reputation in the industry and the company now has a strong platform to pursue even further growth with Mayfair.”

Adrian Thirkill, CEO, GCI said: “We have moved at pace to deepen our service offering for customers and to provide additional value. We wouldn’t have scaled as quickly and successfully as we have in recent years without the energy and enthusiasm of the team, and those who have joined the business through our acquisition strategy.”

“BGF has been continuously supportive throughout our partnership, actively helping us identify and unlock growth opportunities.”

BGF’s Gurinder Sunner, who will step down from his seat on the board of GCI, said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Wayne, Adrian and the team during the past six years. Their ambition for the company has been both persistent and strategic. We’re looking forward to seeing what the future brings for the business, which now becomes a valued member of the BGF alumni.”

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