Thame business secures mega £38m deal

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THAME-based company MeetingZone has brokered a mega-money deal after being bought for £38.5 million by GMT Communications Partners.

The company, which specialises in providing conference calls for businesses, has built up from nothing in the past nine years to have a turn-over of £11 million in the financial year ending March 2011.

The deal will see the 45 employees remain at the headquarters in Thame.

It was set up by Tim Duffy and Steve Gandy in 2002 and has been named in The Sunday Times Microsoft Tech Track 100 league table of Britain’s fastest growing private technology companies for the past four years.

After agreeing the deal, Mr Duffy said: “We are delighted to have found an investor with the skills and experience required to help us take MeetingZone to the next stage of its growth.

“GMT’s access to international networks, expertise and support in the coming years will allow us to continue to develop our market-leading technology platform and focus on our commitment to service excellence.

“We are proud to have been described by Wainhouse Research, the industry analysts, as ‘probably the best financially managed conference service provider in the world.’”

The company has operations in the UK, North America and Germany, and is expected to grow turnover by more than 20 per cent in the current financial year ending March 2012, in line with revenue compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20 per cent recorded during the past three financial years, and significantly more than market growth. The company offers a range of solutions, from fully automated, self-managed conference calls to high-profile managed event calls for shareholder communications.

The company uses e-business self-service principles to automate its operations and provide better customisation for the people who use it.

MeetingZone has grown to become one of the leaders in its field and its clients includes Debenhams, BDO LLP and Taylor Wimpey plc.

The two founders will sell some of their interests in the business, but remain significant shareholders.