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Kingston Comms buys Omnetica for £169m

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Hull-based telco Kingston Communications is splash out £169m in cash and shares to acquire rival telco Omnetica to help boost its voice and data service to large organisations.

The deal - £99m in cash and the rest in shares - will create a converged communications outfit with a customer base made up of a number of blue chip punters.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR), the private equity firm which controls Omnetica, will take a 24.6 per cent stake in Kingston.

Said Kingston chief exec Malcolm Fallen: "Omnetica is a successful business that is highly complementary with our own. In bringing together the respective customers and capabilities of both businesses, we will create one of the UK's leading providers of converged communications services."

Omnetica was created in 2002 to acquire three businesses owned by Siemens AG. Its operating companies include Omnetica Limited in the UK, Arche Communications S.A.S. in France and PRES s.r.l. in Italy. The group is involved in the design, implementation and management of enterprise-wide networks for large corporate clients, financial institutions, government institutions and telecomms service providers.

Omnetica has its HQ in Hemel Hempstead and main offices in the UK, France and Italy. It made a pre-tax loss of £9.2m on revenues of £208.7m for the year to September end.

Kingston today reported its interims to the end of September. Turnover was up a tad to £152.8m compared to £148.5m last year. Pre-tax profit touched £11.2m compared to a £8.7m loss last year. In September The company bought Exeter-based ISP Eclipse for £12.5m. ®

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