Telecoms group Blueface seeks to raise around €20m to fund major European growth spurt
Alan Foy's cloud telephony group Blueface is planning to raise up to €20m in equity and debt to fund a number of acquisitions as its continues its growth across Europe.
The firm, which is backed by the Iveagh family - heirs to the Guinness fortune - is in talks with a number of US private equity players as well as development capital funders.
Existing shareholders - including Foy, games entrepreneur Dylan Collins and the Iveagh family - will take part in the new funding round, which is likely to be completed in early autumn.
Blueface, which was set up 10 years ago, is planning to expand by acquiring rival firms and developing new products. The company is understood to have turned down a major buyout approach last year with management deciding to grow the business rather than cashing in their chips. It is believed to be looking at buying an Irish telecommunications group and a UK-based firm. It is also close to sealing a deal to buy the customer relations management (CRM) assets of another firm.
Blueface was close to buying a mid-sized Italian telecoms outfit in recent months but decided not to pursue the deal after due diligence issues emerged.
Since Foy took over as CEO in 2010, the company has been reinvented, moving from a business-to-consumer player to becoming an almost entirely business-to-business operator. This strategic change has also seen Blueface expand from being a pure telecoms provider into providing new business services, including payments management, CRM and other cloud-based products to small and medium- sized enterprises.
It is going to almost double its workforce with 20 new staff and it has inked a deal to expand its IFSC base. The company plans to use Dublin as its central services hub and HQ for its European business.
The beefed-up telephony and business services company is almost unique in Ireland and the UK, although €1.1bn-valued NYSE-listed RingCentral and €700m valued Nasdaq-listed 8X8 operates a similar model.
Sunday Indo Business