UKFast valued at £405m after stake sale

Gail Jones and Lawrence Jones

Manchester-based cloud hosting firm UKFast on Friday announced an investment in the firm from Inflexion Private Equity that values UKFast at £405 million. 

The investment for roughly 30% of UKFast is being made by Inflexion’s dedicated minority investment fund, Partnership Capital.

Earlier this month, UKFast revealed it was on track to deliver more than £53 million revenue in 2018 ahead of a potential IPO.

Founded in 1999 by Lawrence Jones and Gail Jones, UKFast has grown to become the UK’s largest privately owned hosting provider.

The business has a customer base of 5,500 UK SME clients and 200 mid-sized companies, which are served by UKFast’s 350 employees across its Manchester campus, London sales office and data centres.

UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones said: “It has been widely reported about our ambitions to IPO.

“After spending time in the City meeting fund managers I learned that it is incredibly important to align yourself with people who’ve got experience in areas that you don’t.

“When Inflexion threw their hat into the ring, alongside several others, there was an immediate connection.

“The Inflexion team have got an incredible reputation when they have invested pre-IPO.

“That reputation, coupled with their team headed up by Carl Wormald and Irina Hemmers is something that gives us great confidence for the future.

“Growing a successful business is all about people.

“I am so proud of my management team and everyone who works at UKFast, when you think that they’ve grown this business from a spare bedroom in Manchester to where it is now.

“What’s even more incredible is the potential we have to take UKFast to new heights.

“Huge thanks to the team from GCA Altium, headed up by Phil Adams, and to Howard Gill from Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang.

“A complex deal like this can’t happen without brilliant people like these.”

Simon Turner, Managing Partner of Inflexion, commented: “UKFast has proven itself as a market leader, with its Manchester campus and data centres being testament to the business’s dedication to service excellence and technical performance.

“Acknowledging the industry’s increasing appetite for public cloud, UKFast’s management launched ClearCloud in 2018, thereby enhancing its offering to existing clients as well as opening the door to new ones.

“We look forward to working with management to accelerate growth.”

Deloitte provided financial and tax vendor due diligence, led by Jodi Birkett, Michael Buckley and David O’Leary and Avril Edney.