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Touchbase UK in venture capitalist backed MBO

Microscope contributor

Cisco Unified Comms (UC) specialist Touchbase Group has sold its UK operation in a management buy-out led by director Mike Danson and COO Mike Dornan, backed by private equity investor Herald Ventures.

The integrator, incorporated late 2006 by CEO Riordan Maynard after he sold Avaya house Touchbase Communications to Datapoint, has operations in the US, Holland and Australia but disposed of its Singapore business to Logicalis this week.

Danson - a 14 year veteran of the group - told MicroScope that the UK operation was fundamentally a strong business but conceded that the weak global economy had made life relatively tougher for other operations within the group.

"It has been a challenging period for lots of companies but Touchbase UC in the UK has done extremely well," he said.

In the last set of UK finances filed by Touchbase UC for the twelve months to 31 March 2009, sales grew 45% to £7.19m, operating losses were cut from £969,000 to £50,000 and net losses were £95,000 compared to £1m the year before.

Danson said the numbers continued to move in the right direction during fiscal 2010, "we've grown through the recession to deliver top line growth, good margins and moved from losses into profit during the period".

More than two thirds of revenues are derived through UC sales while classic Cisco switching and router sales make up the remainder, with mid-market clients the target sector for Touchbase UC.

The financial details of the MBO and the shareholding taken by the VC were not disclosed. Herald has other investments in the channel including Alternative Networks and Maintel.

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