GMT acquires MeetingZone in second 2011 deal

Technology, media and telecoms private equity firm GMT Communications Partners has teamed up with the management team to acquire MeetingZone for £38.5 million.

Oxfordshire-based MeetingZone is an independent conferencing and collaboration services provider which has outfits in the UK, North America and Germany.

Established in 2002, it offers services including ‘reservationless’ conference calls and has clients such as Debenhams, BDO and Taylor Wimpey.

Stefan Franssen, partner at GMT, is to join the board of MeetingZone.

He adds: ‘With the UK and European conferencing markets forecast to grow at around 10 per cent a year to the end of 2013 – driven by the desire of corporates to cut travel and times costs, reduce carbon emissions and cater for increasing numbers of home or remote workers – MeetingZone is ideally positioned to capitalise on its technology.’

Franssen says that there is also the opportunity for ‘acquisitive expansion’ to grow the company internationally.

As part of the deal, founders Tim Duffy and Steve Gandy are to remain ‘significant shareholders’ and retain their roles as non-executive chairman and chief executive officer respectively.

According to a statement, GMT is to support MeetingZone’s continuing growth: the business recorded revenues of £11 million for the year to date 31 March 2011.

The conferencing business has figured in The Sunday Times Microsoft Tech Track 100 league table of Britain’s fastest growing private technology companies for the last four years.

MeetingZone’s Duffy comments: ‘GMT’s access to international networks, expertise and support in the coming years will allow us to continue to develop our technology platform and focus on our commitment to services excellence.’

The deal marks the second acquisition for GMT in 2011 following the buy of Thomson Reuters legal and tax/accounting businesses in Denmark and Sweden. Additionally the private equity firm has exited two investments in the past year – PEPcom and Bigpoint.

GMT says there is the possibility to extend MeetingZone into new markets in Europe and Asia-Pacific.

The buy also achieves an exit for Nova Capital Management which had an involvement in MeetingZone for five years.

Advisors on the deal for GMT were Weil, Gotshal & Manges and for MeetingZone KPMG and DLA Piper.

Todd Cardy

Todd Cardy

Todd was Editor of GrowthBusiness.co.uk between 2010 and 2011 as well as being responsible for publishing our digital and printed magazines focusing on private equity and venture capital.

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