Excalibur snaps up Swindon IT support firm Sensata as it enters new phase of growth

July 9, 2018

Fast-growing Swindon telecoms and IT group Excalibur Communications has hit the acquisition trail for the third time in 18 months to snap up local IT support business Sensata.


Excalibur, which changed ownership in a management buy-out (MBO) less than two months ago, said the Sensata acquisition supported its strategy for growth in expanding its IT and connectivity business in Swindon and beyond. 


Sensata founders Christopher and Janet Griffin, who launched the business 14 years ago, will join Excalibur, along with all its four full-time staff members, who will transfer to Excalibur showpiece office at Arclite House, West Swindon, from Sensata’s base at Rivermead. Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed. 


Excalibur, which employs more than 60 people, said Sensata customers would continue to be served by their existing team but will now will benefit from the extensive resources available through being part of a larger group. The Sensata name is beign kept for the time being.  

Excalibur was originally launched as the Mobile Phone Centre in 1992 but later expanded into IT and telecoms services and today, as a fully-fledged managed services supplier, supplies more than 4,000 SMEs across the UK.


It has a strong relationship with Vodafone and is one of its top five distribution channel partners in the UK. In the financial year 2016/17 it turned over £7.7m.


Last year it acquired the support services division of Newbury-based IT consultancy Ntegra – a deal that came shortly after non-executive director and former Vodafone commercial marketing director Peter Boucher became CEO, replacing James Phipps – the architect of the firm’s expansion over recent years – who became executive chairman.


In 2016 it took over specialist Chippenham-based IT firm Devision – another business with an excellent reputation for customer service.


Excalibur is no stranger to growth through acquisition having snapped up IT businesses Bridge Solutions and Emnico Enterprises, both in 2010. 


CEO Peter Boucher, pictured, who led May’s MBO, said: “We welcome Sensata into the business. It’s a proven company that shares our passion for delivering a great service to clients and going the extra mile to create IT solutions specifically for SMEs.  


“It’s a natural fit for both of us and, as we grow, we also benefit from the addition of great staff into the Excalibur talent pool.


“We have just had a record quarter of growth in our IT business. This acquisition, in particular, accelerates the growth and opportunities for us in our home town.”


Sensata founder and technical director Chris Griffin, pictured, added: “After a successful and enjoyable 14 years in running Sensata, Janet and I are delighted for the company to be joining Excalibur.   

“It was important for us to secure an agreement that would provide security for our dedicated staff and continuity of service for our loyal customers. We have found this in Excalibur, which is a highly respected local company and one that has the expertise to support the great SMEs that we work with in Swindon.


“Janet and I will continue to be involved with the business and are looking forward to supporting Excalibur’s development as it goes forward.”


James Phipps retains a minority stake in the firm following the MBO, with the management team, led by Peter Boucher and supported with funding from Santander Corporate & Commercial, now owning a majority shareholding. 


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