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XLN could be sold for the fourth time in just over ten years: Sky News
Posted on Wednesday, 15 May 2019 11:44
XLN, a UK-based telecommunications services provider, is said to be working with Lazard on a potential auction process that could value the group at GBP 250.00 million, city sources told Sky News.

According to the insiders, Danish founder Christian Nellemann is hoping to draw interest from both strategic and financial buyers.

XLN has changed hands four times since 2008; the latest took place in 2014, when Blackstone’s GSO Capital Partners paid an undisclosed amount for the group from ECI Partners.

ECI picked up a majority interest from Zeus Private Equity for GBP 100.00 million in 2010. This was part of a secondary buyout with the acquiror backing the target’s management team.

Zeus bought XLN for GBP 25.00 million in 2008, also via a management buyout.

The company was formed nearly 20 years ago and supplies phone lines, mobile, broadband and energy to over 150,000 small business customers.

XLN, according to Sky News, is expecting to see significant growth potential in future cross-selling opportunities if a new investor comes on board.

However, if the auction falls through, or valuable bids are not made, city sources noted that Nellemann and GSO may look at refinancing the company instead.

XLN has made three of its own acquisitions since 2008, according to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk.

While none of these had a known value, the first took place in 2009 and involved picking up rival OneBill Telecom, a London-headquartered provider of telephone and broadband packages.

In 2011, XLN purchased credit card payment terminals and services provider Card Processing Solutions and in 2013 it acquired Manchester business phone line telecommunications group Shine Telecom.

Zephyr shows that 484 deals targeting telecommunications companies have been announced in 2019 to date.

The largest, by far and away, involves Digital Colony, EQT and Devonshire Investors agreeing to acquire Zayo Group Holdings for USD 14.30 billion.

Vodafone Group, Bharti Airtel and Inmarsat, among others, have also been targeted this year.

© Zephus Ltd