PPM Capital pays £182.5m for Azzurri

London-listed private equity firm 3i has generated a 5x money multiple on its £182.5m sale of voice and data services business Azzurri Communications.

UK mid-market private equity firm PPM Capital has acquired voice and data services company Azzurri Communications from 3i for £182.5 million (€266 million; $343 million).
The Azzurri management team has reinvested alongside PPM Capital in the transaction.
Debt facilities for the transaction were provided by Bank of Scotland and Barclays. PPM Capital was advised by Catalyst, 3i and Azzurri by Citigroup.
3i said that it received £115 million of proceeds from the sale, generating an IRR of 38 percent and a money multiple of 4.9x its initial investment.
Azzurri Communications was formed in June 2000 when 3i invested £25 million of seed capital for a 75 percent stake in the company.
During its period of ownership, 3i backed 15 strategic acquisitions and introduced chairman Alan Cornish, previously deputy chairman of market research company MORI and chairman of newspaper publisher Local Press, both backed by 3i.
Julian Davison, partner in 3i’s European buyouts team, said in a statement: “We have worked closely with Azzurri chief executive Martin St. Quinton and the Azurri management team over the last six years to help them acquire businesses which would in turn create a platform capable of generating strong organic growth. They are now the leading converged voice and data communications provider in the UK.”
Azzurri Communications provides voice, data, consultancy, networking, digital print and mobile solutions for clients such as B&Q, Hanson, Royal Mail, Tesco, Trinity Mirror and University College London Hospitals.
Headquartered in Newbury, Berkshire, Azzurri currently has an integrated national network of nine sales and support organisations, employing over 800 staff. According to PPM Capital, the business is forecast to generate revenues in excess of £100 million in the year to June 2006.