Wireless Logic snapped up by ECI as Peter Jones exits

Dragons’ Den investor and serial telecoms entrepreneur Peter Jones has sold IT communications business Wireless Logic to the company’s management and private equity firm ECI Partners for £38 million.

Wireless Logic, which is headquartered in Buckinghamshire, provides machine-to-machine communications services, and has 3,600 customers and nearly 600,000 Subscriber Identification Modules (SIMS) under management in the UK and Europe.

Jones, who bought Wireless Logic in 2002, is reportedly offloading a number of his investments to create a £100 million ‘war chest’ for future purchases of companies hit by a possible second major downturn in the economy. He sold his mobile SIM card reseller DSNS and IT service firm PJ Media to AIM-listed Expansys last July for £49 million.

In an interview with a national newspaper, he says he is looking to sell mobile distribution business Data Select as part of the plan to reposition his investment portfolio.

‘I want to team up with another venture capital player on the proviso that it is equity rather than debt financed,’ he tells the Daily Telegraph.

‘Having £50 million to £100 million in the bank to make acquisitions is a good thing. I think over the next 12 months the market will be hard and debt hard to raise. If I can come in with equity and with another partner we will take control of a business.’

Current managing director of Wireless Logic Oliver Tucker and sales director Philip Cole founded the business in 1999. The business centres on SIM-enabled machines, which are able to transmit and receive information instantaneously. Applications for the technology include vehicle tracking, smart metering, home and business security and intelligent health monitoring.

Cole says following the deal, the company is planning to ramp up growth domestically and further expand across Europe.

The acquisition is ECI’s sixth new investment in 11 months after the purchase of Stewart Group, CarTrawler, Fourth Hospitality Reed & Mackay and XLN.

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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