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K3 buys Willow Starcom in £1.75m deal

Consultancy takes on entire workforce, acquires 240 customers and a couple of datacentres

Two interconnected puzzle pieces overlaid on a top-down cityscape

Manchester-based K3 Business Technology has acquired Wigan-based Willow Starcom for £1.75m.

Willow Starcom runs two datacentres in the Manchester area and has a customer base of approximately 240. K3 Hosting takes over these customers, pushing its combined base to 300.

The businesses will be merged and rebranded together in Willow Starcom’s existing offices in Wigan along with K3 Hosting’s existing Edinburgh operation. K3 bought Willow Starcom from Access Intelligence.

The firm is a Microsoft Hosting partner with customers deploying Microsoft Dynamics AX, CRM and Navision products on its infrastructure.

The deal adds on-premise design, implementation and support of IT systems to K3’s managed service and hosting portfolio. The merger means that the firm would be able to offer customers products and services for both hosted and on premise environments.

K3's chief executive, David Bolton, says: “Willow Starcom is a well-established business which generates a high proportion of recurring revenues.

“It is highly complementary to K3’s existing hosting and managed services activities and the business can be very readily integrated.

“The addition of Willow Starcom will broaden our existing offering within hosting and managed services and brings additional expertise and skills to our team.

“We believe that there is significant potential to expand our hosting and managed services activities and this acquisition is part of our strategy to realise that growth opportunity.”

Michael Jackson, chairman of London-based Access Intelligence, says: “The divestment of Willow from the group is in line with the group's strategic focus as a software-as-a-service provider.”

Access Intelligence said it will use the proceeds of the sale to support growth.

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