Mobile telecoms service provider Mono Consultants set to expand with £7m BGF investment
In February 2014, BGF backed the management team of Mono Consultants, one of the largest providers of network support services to the UK mobile telecoms sector.
Headquartered in Glasgow with more than 200 employees operating from eight locations across the UK and Ireland, Mono offers a complete range of end-to-end support services to its network operator clients. Services provided include acquisition and planning; design, build and rigging; integration and commissioning of radio equipment; site maintenance; site decommissioning and, increasingly, programme and project management.
Mono’s clients include the UK’s leading network operators, network operators’ consolidation entities and the main equipment vendors. The business has grown significantly over the past five years and is seeking to continue on this path with turnover of £40m forecast in 2015.
BGF took a minority stake and BGF Investment Director, Duncan Macrae, joined the board.
Created in its present form in 2002, but with its origins dating back to the deregulation of the telecoms market in the mid-1980s, Mono has, over the past decade, significantly increased the range of services offered, has evolved from a regional supplier to a national supplier of these services and has been involved in the delivery of many large, multi discipline projects for its clients.
CEO of Mono, Brian Dougherty, who joined the business when it was formed in 2002 and who has been the CEO since 2007, explained:
“The mobile telecoms market is experiencing a period of unprecedented activity driven by a combination of the introduction of 4g services and the consolidation of the operators’ radio networks as they strive to improve customer experience through both coverage and quality of service whilst controlling and minimising their future operating expenditure.
“Mono has to provide the entire range of services needed by our customers in order that they can obtain the maximum operational, time and cost efficiencies that come from having an end to end service provider.
“Technology change is one of the key drivers for our business and we see this growth continuing through 4g and, in due course, with the introduction of 5g.
“Mono continues to have an excellent and supportive relationship with its bank, HSBC, but the longer-term predictability that is provided by BGF’s growth capital enables us to accommodate the mobilisation and working capital requirements of the growth and development opportunities that are available to us.
“The BGF team have, since the outset, shown an enthusiasm for our business and we look forward to working with them. ”
Duncan Macrae, BGF’s Investment Director who joined the Mono board, said:
“Mono is a market leader that has maintained long standing relationships with its customers thanks to its reliable service and its ability to react quickly and adapt to change in the telecoms market. We look forward to working with Brian Dougherty and his experienced management.”
Reading based Bullitt Group Ltd provides complete go-to-market solutions for global brands who are looking to extend into mobile or audio products.
Following initial success with JCB, Bullitt is now the worldwide licensee of Caterpillar Inc. producing rugged, android based, mobile phones, as well as audio devices for Ted Baker and the recently launched Ministry of Sound range.
In December 2012, BGF invested £3.5m of growth capital in the company to enable Bullitt to accelerate its portfolio of products and brands, as well as supporting the company’s expansion into more international markets. BGF holds a minority stake in the business.
Bullitt owns a commanding position in a rapidly expanding ‘rugged’ device category and is quickly emerging as a market leader in the design and manufacture of high quality, high durability mobile phones for both the consumer and industrial sectors. An example of Bullitt’s collaboration with Cat® can be seen in the following video for the Cat® B15 Smartphone, with the updated S40 and S50 handsets launched in 2015.
Bullitt operates a fully integrated model for the brands it works with, from product conception, through to distribution and marketing of the products. Its channel partners and customers include the world’s leading cellular distributors and telecoms carriers, who in turn sell Bullitt’s products to end users in 50 countries. Bullitt outsources manufacture to a highly regarded Tier 1 supply chain that includes the largest electronic design manufacturers in the industry, such as Compal in Taiwan, a Fortune 2000 company.
Bullitt has been able to pair with significant global brands, such as Cat®, is the 58th most valued brand in the world (according to Interbrand), and Ministry of Sound, the winner of IDMA ‘World’s Best Sound System’ award four years in a row, where Bullitt now produce their headphones and Bluetooth speakers.
This is testament to the unique approach and benefit Bullitt offers to extending brands into the mobile sector.
Bullitt was founded in 2009 by David Floyd, Colin Batt (both previously held senior positions in Motorola); and Richard Wharton, an experienced sales and marketing executive with a background in media and consumer electronics. Operating globally and now employing 72 people, Bullitt has recently opened larger offices in Reading, as well as presence in Shenzhen in China, and the US.
GCI delivers telecommunications and services to businesses nationwide. Founded in 2000 by Wayne Martin, GCI has grown rapidly through a mixture of organic growth and strategic acquisitions.
Wayne – who is now Chairman of the company – has been involved in the communications industry for over 25 years having started his career at Cable & Wireless in the 1980s. GCI employs over 200 members of staff, across GCI office locations throughout the UK, and is one of the fastest growing managed communication providers in the UK.
GCIs recent acquisitions have seen its product range and specialties grow from strength to strength; now offering services in connectivity, communications, data safety, cloud computing and managed IT. The company equips customers with the network and infrastructure they need to become pioneers of technology and to gain an edge against competitors within their market. Whilst offering a reliable, flexible and scalable ICT solution, GCI aim to reduce business costs, reduce business risk, help free-up internal resources and improve business efficiency and effectiveness through the use of technology.