Virtua UK secures £4.6m growth capital and acquires Astral Specialist Contracts

Telecoms engineering firm announces big funding news followed by acquisition of fellow telecommunication engineering and rigging company.

Swindon-based telecoms engineering business Virtua UK has raised £4.6m of growth capital through the backing of a group of private investors, the company has announced.

In a separate deal it has also announced the strategic acquisition of Warwickshire-based competitor Astral Specialists Contracts.

The funding deal, structured and managed by Connection Capital, incorporated over 70 clients participating in the investment; each contributing at least £25,000 to help drive accelerated growth by enabling the firm to bid for more and larger contracts and fund targeted acquisitions.

One of the first of those acquisitions to be announced is the deal to buy Astral Specialist Contracts Ltd, a leading telecommunication engineering and rigging company based in Warwickshire. As a result of the two businesses combined, the company is planning significant growth as their market, the building of 4G and broadcast networks also grows.

The company will now employ more than 170 staff across a number of offices within the UK, including Brinkworth near Swindon and Compton Verney in Warwickshire, and expects to expand its workforce further.

Virtua provides a full range of engineering services on behalf of many of the major UK mobile networks.

These include the full suite of services for expanding and upgrading 3G/4G and wireless network infrastructure – from design, installation and project management to testing and optimisation.

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The company’s work also includes projects for other blue chip clients including in-build projects for commercial estate owners of major developments such as Terminal 2, Wembley Stadium and the “Walkie Talkie” skyscraper in London.

Virtua UK managing director Andy Watts said the dual announcement represents “two great pieces of news, two deals which will help us serve our customers and our staff better through growth”.

“For a while, many of our biggest customers have said they would love to give us more business if we had the resources to take it on. Now we have the capability to do so,” he continued.

“We’re growing our company and hiring great people. We are pretty picky, we only want people who share our commitment to serving customers well through hard work and great skills.”

Andy Gates, one of the directors and founders at Astral, helped form the business six years ago to provide a mixture of rigging and specialist access teams.

He confirmed that “the general management of the company will stay the same, although it’s natural that there will be some integration between the new companies”.

“Overall, this is great news for us at Astral and it’s an exciting time for all of our staff. It’s going to be a pretty powerful company with lots of great people in, which customers will love to do business with,” he added.

Further reading: Okta raises $75m in new funding round

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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Telecoms sector