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By | Paul Kunert 13th April 2012 13:39

Daisy Group blows £28m on VoIP blower biz

Lose a COO, gain Worldwide Group Holdings

Acquisitive business communications provider Daisy Group has coughed £28m to acquire audio-conferencing and call-handling player Worldwide Group Holdings (WGH).

The deal could rise in cost – dependant on EBITDA growth over an agreed earn-out period – and will be funded by cash from Royal Bank of Scotland, which joins Daisy's four other lenders.

Lancashire-based Daisy said voice services and data connectivity firm WGH, based in Peterborough, fit well with its comms operations. Daisy's ops include lines, calls, in-bound telephony, broadband, maintenance and DR.

"Its audio-conferencing solution creates a new revenue stream for Daisy, while driving further cross-selling opportunities into our existing customer base," said Matthew Riley, Daisy CEO.

WGH turned over £36.4m in the year to 31 December 2011 and made EBITDA of £4m.

Daisy has hoovered up a number of companies since embarking on its buy-and-build strategy in 2009. Daisy Group came about when Freedom4 backed into Daisy Comms – which had included SpiriTel, O-bit Telecom and Redstone's telecoms biz.

In another update to the London Stock Exchange this morning, Daisy confirmed that COO Gareth Kirkwood is set to leave the firm at month-end to "pursue other interests" just over a year after he joined.

The company added in a trading update that profits for the year ended March were in range with expectations and sales were up "significantly". It said all acquisitions made were now integrated into the parent.

"The Board is pleased with the progress to date across all key divisions, though remains mindful of the challenging market trends and macroeconomic outlook," Daisy stated.

In the six month period to the 30 September, revenues increased to £176m from £120m in the same period a year earlier, and pre-tax losses narrowed from £9.87m to £8.93m. ®

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