Managed IT firm merger opens up new horizons for Wiltshire government data services supplier

June 18, 2020

Wiltshire-based MDS Technologies, which supplies cloud and insfrastructure services to the government, has merged with a managed IT services firm as both benefit from increased demand linked to home working during the lockdown.

MDS, which its headquarters in Chippenham and a data centre in Corsham, supplies managed cloud and infrastructure packages to a number of primarily large public sector organisations requiring a high level of IT infrastructure, including the Home Office, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Defence and the NHS. 

Its merger partner Bristol IT Company provides IT services such as IT support, cybersecurity and connectivity to the private small and medium-sized business market with clients such as Bristol Music Trust – which runs Colston Hall – and the city’s Bottle Yard TV and film studios. 

The two brands will continue to operate as separate entities in the short term. Backed by a six-figure finance facility from HSBC UK, they will now be able to expand their combined portfolio across the South West and nationally as well as bolstering their technical and commercial capability by hiring more staff.

Both firms said they have experienced higher demand from existing clients – and have won new work – due to the impact of Covid-19 on workplaces, with increased demand for security as more staff work from home.

MDS managing director Simon Jacobs said: “Over the last year, we embarked upon a journey to identify an organisation with similar business credentials as our own, the same values and ethos, and a comprehensive and highly complementary portfolio of IT services. 

“We sought this merger as we believe it would deliver the increased breadth, depth and maturity of managed cloud and IT services whilst also supporting our business growth aspirations with the expansion of services and capability.

“This will be to the benefit of our customers, both existing and new, as well as our people and those we wish to attract to our new organisation in the future.”

Bristol IT Company also offices in London, Cardiff and Royal Wootton Bassett, near Swindon.

Bristol IT Company operations director Ben Grantham added: “Our merger discussions with MDS began in late 2019, so were at quite an advanced stage when the coronavirus crisis started to hit.

“We’d already identified that MDS Technologies was the perfect company to merge with in order to expand the potential of both businesses, so we took the decision to continue despite the difficulties lockdown imposed.

“Since lockdown, both companies have seen an increase in demand for technologies that enable remote working and have been able to satisfy requests from both new and existing customers for this.

“This latest funding package is the culmination of a long-standing relationship with HSBC UK, which has been a great supporter of both Bristol IT and MDS. Doing a deal like this in such challenging conditions has been no mean feat so we’re incredibly grateful to the bank for its support.” 

HSBC UK Bristol, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire head of corporate banking James Shepherd said: “The consolidation of Bristol IT and MDS is a great indicator of the success of both businesses, which each have different roles and markets but will eventually expand its range of products and services as one to support the wider UK market.

“Our latest round of funding was crucial to helping these businesses realise their ambitions and we’re delighted that the deal could still go ahead despite the lockdown. We look forward to continuing our relationship as both entities grow.”

The merger was supported by law firms Clarke Willmott and Temple Bright along with accountants RSM and Milsted Langdon. 

Milsted Langdon corporate finance partner Susannah Adams said: “It was a pleasure to be part of this project and guide it through to completion. It’s very rewarding to see some positive business activity in such uncertain times and I wish both parties every success in the future.”




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