ICT specialist GCI acquired by equity firm as BGF exits

ICT specialist GCI acquired by equity firm as BGF exits

Founded in 1998, Lincoln-headquartered GCI has become the largest privately-owned ICT service provider in the UK.

The company, whose customers include Lush Cosmetics, Parliamentary Digital Services, Merlin Entertainments, the Heritage Lottery Fund and BGF, has grown organically and through an ambitious and successful acquisition strategy.

GCI has bought 12 businesses since BGF’s £10m investment, most recently acquiring Poole-headquartered Blue Chip, the firm’s largest deal to date.

Acquisitions have focused on strengthening the service offering to customers as well as expanding GCI’s footprint in the UK. As a result, revenues have doubled to more than £100m, whilst the team has grown from 150 to 500 people.

Wayne Martin, founder and Chair of GCI said: “This has been a phenomenal journey for GCI. The growth of the company has been testament to our ever-growing team, customers, partners and BGF, whose investment was a game-changer. Their funding and support enabled us to build the team and move quickly to respond to opportunities in the market.

“GCI has earned a fantastic reputation in the industry and the company now has a strong platform to pursue even further growth with Mayfair.”

BGF’s investment also enabled Chair and founder Wayne Martin and CEO Adrian Thirkill to broaden GCI’s management team through the appointments of a chief marketing officer, chief technology officer and chief commercial officer. BGF, which has backed GCI since 2012, has exited its investment as part of this latest deal.

Adrian Thirkill, CEO, GCI said: “We have moved at pace to deepen our service offering for customers and to provide additional value. We wouldn’t have scaled as quickly and successfully as we have in recent years without the energy and enthusiasm of the team, and those who have joined the business through our acquisition strategy.”

“BGF has been continuously supportive throughout our partnership, actively helping us identify and unlock growth opportunities.”

Founder Martin has reduced his shareholding while Thirkill, who has overseen an accelerated buy and build strategy since he joined the business in 2015, will continue in his role supported by his management team.

Published: 09 May 2018

Article by Suzy Jackson
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