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CSP Acquisition: Solar Communications Buys Mitel Partner TWL Voice and Data

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Andrew Nicholson
Andrew Nicholson
John Whitty

Solar Communications, a midmarket managed and cloud services provider, continues its buy-and-build strategy. The UK-based company has snapped up TWL Voice and Data Limited (TWL) for an undisclosed sum, adding to its managed services offering and expanding its geographic reach. In a prepared statement, the company says the move will “significantly strengthen Solar’s share of the business communications marketplace, and enhance its position as a leading managed service cloud communications provider.”

Solar, led by CEO John Whitty, is a familiar name in the M&A market. The company acquired two businesses in 2016 - Response Data Communications and Denwa. Those deals gave Solar 'Platinum ShoreTel' status and 'gold Mitel' accreditation, respectively. Ironically Mitel is now acquiring ShoreTel, which should further strengthen Solar's hand.

The latest Solar addition, TWL, reinforces the company as a Mitel ‘Gold Solutions’ and ‘Gold Cloud Solutions’ partner. Before being bought, TWL worked hard at migrating on-premises customers to the cloud, which was a major factor in Solar’s courting of the company.

About Solar

Solar is a provider of Unified Communications as a Service, recently launching its own Skype for Business offering in an attempt to bridge the gap between Microsoft Office 365 and enterprise grade telephony systems.

The company, established in 1988, also works with Silver Peak, Pure Storage, and Rubrik, and supports more than 2,000 organizations across a variety of sectors. Solar is independently owned, with offices in Chippenham, Harlow, and Manchester and employs around 90 people.

Andrew Nicholson, the founder and Managing Director of TWL will remain with the business following the acquisition.

The Brexit Specter

Of course, hanging over any tech news out of the UK is the specter of Brexit. Britain’s decision to leave the EU has some experts worried that the managed IT services market could see a slowdown, while others worry about a drop in M&A activity.

But this latest deal seems to underline that at least M&A movement remains strong. Other recent deals include Ensono acquiring Attenda, Chess Ltd. buying Foursys, and New Jersey-based Datapipe’s acquisition of UK-based Adapt, to name a few.