Basingstoke-based Southern Communications, a business-to-business telecoms reseller, has raised follow-on financing through Santander’s Breakthrough programme, increasing its total credit facilities to just over £10 million. The additional facilities will be used to immediately acquire an Internet service provider and for further acquisitions over the next 18 months.
Southern Communications is a leading independent provider of telecoms and data product services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK. Its services include mobile and fixed-line rentals, broadband, cloud hosting and data product services along with the sale, installation and maintenance of telephone systems.
In the past two years Southern Communications has acquired three businesses – all of which have been successfully integrated. It is now one of the top telecom resellers in the UK with turnover of over £20 million – with growth reportedly driven by price disruptiveness, high-quality customer service and the ability to provide customers with a full range of bespoke services.
Santander’s funding package includes £1.45m of growth capital investment plus a significant war chest for further acquisitions, organic growth and new hires.
The loan is part of Santander’s Breakthrough programme, which aims to support fast-growth small businesses, to help them fulfil their potential. As well as funding, Breakthrough offers companies access to trade missions, business masterclasses, networking events and support in areas such as finance and marketing.
Paul Bradford, CEO at Southern Communications, said: “Accessing finance that allows you to invest in your business is hard for a company of our size. Typically investors either want to take a slice of your company, or are only offering funding to new ventures. Santander’s Breakthrough programme offers us a real alternative, allowing us to top-up what we could access through traditional bank finance, with funding based on our future success.”
Darren Hart, head of growth capital at Santander UK, said: “Since Southern Communications moved to become a customer of Santander in 2013 we have seen them go from strength to strength. They are a perfect fit for our growth capital because of their strong cashflow, and we are delighted to be supporting Paul and his team again in the next phase of their transformational growth.”