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BGF-backed Celerity acquires Chilli IT

Following our £15m investment into the IT services business in 2021, this is Celerity’s first acquisition, strengthening its technical expertise and unlocking future growth.

20 May 2024

North West IT services provider, and BGF portfolio company, Celerity has acquired Chester-based Chilli IT. The deal strengthens the company’s technical expertise and unlocks growth opportunities, through complementary services and expansion into new sectors, such as logistics and retail.

Founded in 2002, Celerity has established itself as a market leader in delivering intelligent cybersecurity, data protection and data visualisation services for companies. The acquisition takes the combined business turnover to more than £40 million and takes it to a team of 95.

Following BGF’s £15 million investment in 2021, this is the first transaction for Celerity, as the business embarks on an acquisition trail to supercharge future growth.

Chilli is an IBM Gold Partner and managed service provider. Its team of 17 will maintain their roles and continue to operate from a base in Chester, with the Chilli brand being retained.

Speaking about the deal, Celerity’s chief operations officer, Craig Aston, said: “We’ve experienced strong organic growth with our managed services and have been looking for potential acquisitions to support the strategic direction of the business.”

“There’s an excellent synergy between Celerity and Chilli, and today’s deal enhances our service offering, while enabling cross-selling opportunities to drive growth through integration. The Chilli team brings a different, but complementary, set of technical skills to ours, and a good client base, which adds to our business and positions us for future success.”

Celerity securely manages and optimises legacy environments within the data centre and cloud, driving continuous improvement and risk mitigation for customers. Similarly, Chilli’s expertise ensures a highly skilled approach to managed services, while streamlining processes and maximising performance.

Richard Warren, Chilli’s founder, added: “In Celerity, we’ve found the ideal home for Chilli, as their values match ours, and the team has the same commitment as we do to innovation and helping clients achieve their ambitions. This is a statement of intent for the future and provides significant benefits for our team and clients now Chilli is part of a bigger, entrepreneurial organisation.”

Harry Jones, investor at BGF, commented: “Celerity has demonstrated impressive growth since our investment and this deal represents an important milestone for the business, adding both depth and expertise to the company’s proposition. Moving forward, we’ll continue to look for complementary acquisitions that will drive further innovation and value for both clients and partners.”

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