2 June 2020
International law firm Taylor Wessing has advised on the sale of the Glide group to the infrastructure fund Alinda Capital Partners. Taylor Wessing advised the sellers, including longstanding client Inflexion, having previously acted for Inflexion on its buyout of the group in 2013.
The sale follows a six-year period of transformational growth for the business.
Glide is the UK's leading provider of infrastructure to difficult to serve markets and designs, installs and manages fibre networks required to deliver broadband connectivity together with other critical products and services to student accommodation, the private rental sector and small and medium sized enterprises. Inflexion’s investment has helped the company to build the UK’s leading fibre network in this specialist market reaching 100,000 premises and approximately 250,000 customers.
The deal required expertise drawn from across the firm's private equity, tax, employment, pensions, IP and commercial teams.
Commenting on the deal, private equity partner James Goold, said: "It was a pleasure advising Inflexion and the Glide management team on this deal, especially as we were able to field a multidisciplinary team that shows off the expertise we have across the firm. We have been working with Inflexion for a number of years and our close understanding of the team's needs undoubtedly helped us make this deal a success in a very tight timescale. I wish the management team all the best in its new partnership with Alinda".
Cath Richards, partner at Inflexion added: "We are pleased to have supported Glide’s strong growth journey, which has seen the company transformed into the UK fibre leader serving niche markets and benefitting from the exponential growth in broadband usage. That Glide attracted strong interest at this time is vindication of its position as a robust leader in its field. Its transformation though the strategic M&A we supported has given it a very strong and defensible position, making it well placed to continue to grow further with its new backers. Taylor Wessing has been a long-standing partner to us in the past and James and his team provided invaluable support throughout the deal."
Tim Pilcher, CEO of Glide added, “Inflexion has been a vital part of our success as we have significantly transformed and grown our business. Their strong experience in the technology and telecoms sector has been invaluable as we have expanded our network, enhanced our capacity and improved our services. With Inflexion’s support we were able to successfully complete two transformational strategic acquisitions, making Glide a national leader in our target markets. We look forward to continuing building on this success with our new partners."
The team was led by James Goold with the support of senior associate Suzy Penney, associate Jess Aston, trainee Tom Witte and paralegal Sarah Palmer. Tax input was provided by partner Liz Wilson and associate Alice Thomas. Employment advice was given by associate Nadine Simpson-Ataha with pension advice given by senior associate Hadassah Shulman. Real estate issues were handled by associate Dan O'Brien. IP support was given by senior associate Simon Jupp with associate Matthew Ives advising on commercial matters.