Metronet acquires Venus for London expansion

Lee Perkins

Manchester-based internet infrastructure firm Metronet (UK), backed by mid-market private equity firm Livingbridge, said it acquired London-based fibre network provider Venus Business Communications.

The acquisition of Venus follows Metronet’s £47.5 million purchase of internet infrastructure and hosting company M247 in October 2016.

“Venus will provide the group with access to the strategically important London market as it seeks to build a national disruptive platform with ‘last mile’ control, faster connectivity and communications to end users and a powerful transit network across Europe,” said Metronet (UK).

“Venus will add six new datacentres to Metronet’s network so that, following the acquisition, Metronet (UK)’s network is now connected to all key strategic UK data centre locations as well as 14 of the world’s largest and most important Internet Exchanges.”

Metronet said that Venus, founded in 2005 by telecoms entrepreneurs Brian Iddon and Justin Keery, covers all of central London and the City, providing superfast, high speed fibre at up to 10 gigabit/sec, almost 100 times quicker than the leading alternative broadband connection.

“Venus supplies companies across a range of sectors including design, media, broadcast and financial services who place a particularly high value on low latency communications,” said Metronet.

The combined group will now employ around 230 people across six sites including Manchester, Newcastle, London and Bucharest.

It will support almost 34,000 customers across 92 countries, from SMEs to Enterprise clients including Intu, On The Beach, Sofology and, and deliver revenues of nearly £50 million.

Livingbridge first invested in Metronet (UK) in June 2014 as part of a £45 million secondary buyout of the firm.

Follow on funding to support Metronet’s acquisition strategy and the investment in Venus has been made by the Livingbridge 5 fund.

Matthew Caffrey, partner at Livingbridge, said: “The acquisition of Venus neatly complements Metronet’s existing capabilities and will enable the business to build a world class wireless network in London on top of Venus’ core transit and last mile fibre capability.

“Metronet’s national services now include connectivity applications across the wireless and fibre spectrums as well as voice, security and hosting and we are very excited about the Group’s continued growth prospects.”

Metronet (UK) CEO Lee Perkins said: “Venus is a fantastic business which has established itself as a leading player in the London market thanks to its market leading levels of speed and reliability.

“Just as importantly, Venus has the same entrepreneurial and customer-centric culture as us so I have no doubt that it will be an excellent fit with our business.”