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Fast-growing Onyx Group active on the acquisition trail

Posted: 22nd December 2014

Onyx Group LogoInnovative IT infrastructure and support services provider, Onyx Group, today announced the acquisition of Knowledge IT, a highly accredited ICT solutions and support firm. After three years of good organic growth, this move significantly enhances Onyx’s consulting and managed service capability.

This is part of a dynamic and highly successful growth strategy for Onyx, reinforcing the company’s reach and reputation as a significant technology player. Since 2000, the group has completed five major acquisitions and will exceed a turnover of £20 million in 2014, a 13 per cent increase on the previous year. However, at £10 million, the purchase of North East based Knowledge IT is the biggest acquisition so far, boosting Onyx’s run rate revenue to over £30 million and increasing headcount to 170.

The acquisition of Knowledge IT is a confident step towards achieving Onyx’s ambitious plans to become a national £100 million revenue IT support and services business in the next five years.

Onyx owns five data centers and six workplace recovery facilities across the UK and has a growing base of more than 200 customers including some of the UK’s best-known brands. The acquisition will add to the facilities at Onyx and increase the breadth of its customer base.

Neil Stephenson, CEO of Onyx Group said “Increasingly over the past two years, customers have been asking us to manage their entire IT infrastructure, as well as providing resilient solutions to complex cloud and hosting requirements. The Knowledge IT team has a great reputation for delivering these services and this deal will make the Onyx propositions and reach stronger for both sets of customers.”

George Sanger, Managing Director of Knowledge IT added: “Onyx Group, like Knowledge IT has an established reputation for providing outstanding customer support. We welcome the opportunity to share our expertise to help Onyx build on their achievements and grow the enlarged business.”

“Neil Burn, Relationship Director in HSBC’s North East Corporate team said: “Neil and his team have successfully grown their business through a commitment to high quality service and long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with clients. Onyx is a successful and growing business and HSBC are pleased to have supported management in their acquisition of Knowledge IT, helping two North East businesses extend their reach further across the UK.”

Adam Holloway, Partner at Living Bridge, Onyx’s private equity partner added: “Having invested in Onyx in 2011, we’re delighted to see them make this strategic acquisition and are excited by the growth opportunities for the combined group.”

Deloitte provided Corporate Finance advice and financial and tax due diligence services to Onyx on the acquisition. Paul Roberts, a Director in Deloitte’s Corporate Finance team in Leeds said: “Onyx has an excellent brand and a dominant position in the IT services market in the North East and Yorkshire. Knowledge IT is a strategic acquisition and the Deloitte team is delighted to have been involved in realising this important deal. I look forward to watching the enlarged Onyx group continue to go from strength to strength”

Onyx Acquistion 2014L-R Neil Stephenson, CEO of Onyx Group & George Sanger, Managing Director of Knowledge IT


Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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