Oak Hill to Acquire Pulsant

Oak Hill to Acquire Pulsant

pulsant nf1Pulsant, a provider of managed, hosted data center and IT infrastructure services to the mid-market, has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Oak Hill Capital Partners.  Pulsant is a portfolio company of Bridgepoint Development Capital.

Pulsant was formed in October 2010 when Bridgepoint Development Capital acquired Lumison, a provider of connectivity, hosting and managed IT services. Subsequently, Pulsant (as the business was re-branded) made three further acquisitions: Blue Square Data, a colocation provider, acquired in February 2011; Dedipower, a managed hosting and cloud services provider, acquired in September 2011; and Scolocate, a provider of colocation, managed hosting and cloud services in Scotland, acquired in December 2012. Pulsant currently provides its services from a network of 10 company operated datacenters across the UK, connected via the company’s own fiber network. Pulsant is headquartered in Reading, UK (www.pulsant.com).

“We are pleased to be investing in Pulsant and to be supporting Mark Howling and the rest of the Pulsant management team as the company continues its strong growth trajectory,” said David Scott, Principal at Oak Hill.  “With this transaction, Oak Hill builds upon a decade of significant data centre expertise, where Oak Hill has a demonstrated track record. We believe Pulsant is well positioned to grow in the data centre services market with clear and sustained demand for its services.  We look forward to further building the Pulsant franchise.”

Oak Hill is an experienced investor in the data centre services market. Its current IT services investments include ViaWest, a provider of colocation and hybrid cloud services to medium-sized enterprises in regional US markets, and Intermedia.net, a provider of cloud-based, hosted services to small- and medium-sized businesses. In 2005, Oak Hill co-led the consolidation of the European colocation industry by acquiring Telecity Group and executing on a number of subsequent strategic acquisitions.

“We expect continued significant consolidation amongst suppliers in this dynamic market, and we believe Pulsant is well-positioned to expand its leadership position by executing on targeted acquisitions, bringing additional capabilities to benefit Pulsant and its customers,” said Mark Howling, CEO of Pulsant.  “As we considered our strategic options for the business, there was a lot of interest, but Oak Hill emerged as the preferred partner, having a strong understanding of the market and of businesses like Pulsant. Oak Hill will be an active partner and we are very much looking forward to working with them.”

Oak Hill Capital Partners has $8 billion of committed capital and invests in the following six sectors: basic industries; business and financial services; consumer, retail & distribution; healthcare; media & telecom; and technology. Over the past 25 years, the professionals at Oak Hill and its predecessors have invested in more than 70 private equity transactions. The firm is located in Stamford, CT (www.oakhillcapital.com).

“With Mark Howling and the team, we achieved what we set out to do: for Pulsant to become the trusted partner to medium-sized businesses looking for a provider to meet all of their IT and networking needs,” said Alan Payne, Partner at Bridgepoint Development Capital.

Bridgepoint Development Capital provides funding to businesses headquartered in France, the Nordic region and the UK, typically buyouts valued up to €150 million. BDC has a team of 19 investment professionals wholly dedicated to its investment activity and operating from offices in London, Paris and Stockholm. It is part of Bridgepoint, the international private equity group, which invests in businesses valued between €200 million and €1 billion across Europe (www.bridgepoint.eu/en/).

Advisers involved in this transaction for Bridgepoint included:  Jefferies (Corporate Finance), Travers Smith (Legal),  Deloitte (Financial and Tax), Boston Consulting Group (Commercial), ERM (Environment), Marsh (Insurance), and MEIT (Technical). Advisors to Oak Hill included Torch Partners (Corporate Finance), Macfarlanes and Paul Weiss (Legal) and EY (Financial and Tax).

2014 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 6-16-14

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