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Lumison splashes £22m on first acquisition

Microscope contributor

Infrastructure services outfit Lumison will turn its attentions to acquisition targets in the IT and network services space after forking out £22m for data centre co-location firm Blue Square Data (BSD).

Edinburgh-based Lumison already operates data centres in its hometown and in South London and now takes on board BSD facilities in Maidenhead and Milton Keynes.

Former Computacenter director Mark Howling, who was made executive chairman at Lumison in October following its acquisition by VC Bridgepoint Development Capital, said the Blue Square deal more than trebles its rack capacity.

"It starts to fill some of the gaps in our coverage and gives us a spine of data centres down the centre of the UK," he told MicroScope.

Backed by funding from VC BDC, the Blue Square deal is the "first of a few" said Howling but future purchases will centre more on IT and network services businesses.

In BSD's most recently filed results for the year to 31 December, sales of £6m represented an annualised run rate of 50% on the £5.3m posted for the previous sixteen month period. EBITDA was £1.4m compared to a loss in the previous period.

Howling said BSD's turnover was £8m in calendar 2010, but he refused to reveal EBITDA but commented that it was a marked improvement on previous years when the business "invested heavily" in the Milton Keynes data centre.

Operational management at BSD will remain in place with CTO Matthew Munson expanding the role across the group.

"For many organisations it is important that they are within close proximity to the data centre and this development helps us support their expansion plans, as well as enabling us to offer them a broader range of services from all locations," he said.

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