mobile phone tower
Image Source: Barry Skeates
WHP Telecoms Limited employs more than 440 people

PE-backed buyout for Warrington telecom infrastructure business WHP

Equistone Partners Europe has completed a management buyout of telecom infrastructure services business WHP Telecoms from Palatine Private Equity.

Equistone will take a majority stake in the Warrington-based business while Palatine – which first backed WHP in 2015 – will co-invest for a minority stake alongside Equistone and a management team led by chief exec Rob Potter.

WHP Telecoms provides services covering the design, acquisition, deployment and maintenance of mobile network masts, antennae and stations for all the UK’s major mobile operators.

It employs more than 440 people across its Warrington HQ and bases in Leeds, Glasgow, Birmingham and Heathrow.

Since an initial investment from Palatine back in 2015, WHP Telecoms has grown its turnover from €34m (£30m) to a forecast for the current year of nearly €86m (£75m).

Rob Potter said: “The UK telecoms market is performing strongly, with continued investment in Networks. During this time, we have invested in our highly skilled team and infrastructure in order to deliver excellent quality, efficiency and value to our customers.

“I very much look forward to working with Equistone to further develop our offering – delivering innovation with a focus on high levels of service.”

He added: “We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Palatine for the support they have provided so far, and we look forward to continuing our work with them as we take our business to the next chapter.”

Equistone investment director Andi Tomkinson commented: “WHP is the clear market leader in both scale and breadth of services and has demonstrated strong growth during the past few years.

“The business is exceptionally well placed for continued organic growth and we will also look at strategic acquisition opportunities over the coming months. We look forward to working with and supporting Rob and the wider team through the next phase of growth.”

Palatine Private Equity partner Andy Lees said of the deal: “It has been a pleasure working with Rob and the management team over the past few years.

“The business has successfully capitalised on the continued investment in the telecoms sector and is now firmly positioned as a market leading player.”

Advisory firm Clearwater International UK acted for WHP Telecoms on the transaction.

Clearwater International CEO Michael Reeves commented: “WHP has experienced an impressive growth rate and remains well placed for seizing future opportunities within this buoyant market.

“With the additional support of Equistone, a committed customer base, and WHP’s excellent management team, we look forward to seeing the continued success going forward.”

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