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Horizon acquires Modern Networks in buy and build move

Technology buy and build specialist Horizon Capital has acquired Modern Networks, a provider of IT managed services and connectivity solutions for the property and construction industry.

The £40m deal includes some follow-on funding coming into play as Hitchin, UK-based Modern Networks expands through acquisition. Modern Networks provides services to over 2,000 sites across the UK, including shopping centres, offices and public buildings. From its support centre in Hitchin the business delivers 24/7 support to commercial property managers.

“The business has an ambitious growth strategy and this investment will enable it to pursue acquisitions alongside its successful organic growth,” said Horizon. “The business expects to accelerate its growth within the commercial sector and also in adjacent sectors.”

The company was founded by Matthew Reeve who will continue as CEO. He is joined on the board by experienced chairman Lee Shorten - who was previously UK managing director of Avaya - and acquisitions director Andy Roberts, formerly CEO of Horizon portfolio company Sabio. Sabio has made a large number of pan-European acquisitions in unified comms since being acquired by Horizon.

Alongside Horizon Capitals investment, debt finance for the acquisition and a committed facility for acquisitions has been provided by specialist SME lender DunPort Capital Management. Modern Networks joins a 14 strong portfolio of growing technology and service businesses. Horizon completed 24 add-on acquisitions for its portfolio in 2020 and says it expects to exceed that number this year as it continues to grow.

Reeve said: “I'm looking forward to working with Lee, Andy and the Horizon Capital team in accelerating the successful growth of the business. Horizon Capital were a natural partner for us as we embark on this phase of growth given their focus on technology services and buy and build.”

New chairman Lee Shorten added: “Having worked with Horizon Capital since 2016 on the Sabio buy and build - where we have more than quadrupled the business - I am confident we can achieve similar growth with Modern Networks.”