Two West Midlands-based professional services firms have advised on the multi-million pound sale of a web-hosting company, after also advising on its management buyout two years ago.
Birmingham-based corporate finance advisers Orbis Partners and Black Country law firm George Green advised on the acquisition of Virtual Internet Limited by UK2 Group Limited, for an undisclosed amount.
Based in London, Virtual Internet specialises in providing web hosting and internet support services to large corporates and the public sector. With an annual turnover of more than £2 million, it counts organisations such as Kenwood, the Royal Horticultural Society and Cobra Beer among its clients.
Via the OC Group it also provided internet and email communications with the Ellen MacArthur team boat BT, sailed by Sébastien Josse in the 2009 Vendee Globe single-handed round-the-world yacht race. Orbis Partners acted as lead adviser and George Green advised the management team on the legal aspects of the management buyout of Virtual Internet in October 2006, from then owner Norwegian company Active 24 ASA.
Chris Gregory, a partner at Orbis said: “At the time of the MBO we invested taking a 12 per cent equity stake in the business. I am delighted that our vision proved to be justified.”
Shah Zaki, partner at Orbis who led the sale, explained: “As shareholders, as well as advisers, we were better placed to provide on-going strategic advice to help grow the business and then execute a successful exit for the benefit of all parties.”
UK2 Group is registered in Gibraltar and is the parent company of UK2.net and a number of other web hosting companies operating in both the UK and US. The group acquired Virtual Internet as it regards the organisation as a strategic fit for its UK market presence and offers the opportunity of building the VI.net service on both sides of the Atlantic..
George Green corporate partner Matt Hyland, who is based in the firm’s Cradley Heath offices, advised on both the MBO and sale.
He said: “Virtual Internet undoubtedly benefited from Orbis Partners’ input and maintaining the same advisers from acquisition to disposal.”