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Clydesdale Bank Backs Telecoms Acquisition


MeetingZone, the fast-growing and independent provider of high performance telephone and web-conferencing facilities, has been acquired by GMT Communications Partners with the backing of a £16m funding package from Clydesdale Bank Corporate and Structured Finance.

MeetingZone, which was established in 2002 and generated sales of £11m in the financial year to March 2011, works with businesses of all sizes including a number of blue-chip clients such as Debenhams, BDO LLP and Taylor Wimpey plc. The business has its headquarters in Thame, Oxfordshire, but also operates offices in Germany, USA and Canada.

GMT Communications Partners, the European private equity group focused on the media, information, entertainment and telecommunications sectors, will help MeetingZone to expand into new markets in Europe and Asia-Pacific as well as to increase its service offering.

The total consideration of £38.5m was part-funded by Clydesdale Bank’s Corporate and Structured Finance team in London, and included a package of acquisition finance and credit and debt facilities.

Paul Argent, Area Director for Clydesdale Bank, said: “Since its formation nearly ten years ago, MeetingZone has achieved strong performance, led by a high-calibre management team that has a clearly defined strategy for the future growth and development of the business.

“MeetingZone is well-positioned to expand its activities and Clydesdale Bank is looking forward to supporting the team and GMT Communications Partners in achieving its future goals.”

Tim Duffy, Chairman at MeetingZone, commented: “We are delighted to have found an investor with the skills and experience required to help us take MeetingZone to the next stage of its growth. GMT’s access to international networks, expertise and support in the coming years will allow us to continue to develop our market-leading technology platform and focus on our commitment to service excellence.  We are proud to have been described by Wainhouse Research, the industry analysts, as “probably the best financially managed conference service provider in the world."

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