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C4L Group Holdings Limited was sold to Selection Services Investments Limited


C4L sold to Selection Services Investments Limited C4L, a tech company based in Dorset, has been sold in a £20 million deal. The company, which runs the largest privately owned data centre network in the UK, has been acquired by investment company Castle Street Investments PLC (CSI), a subsidiary if which is Selection Services Investments Limited.

C4L’s Chief Executive Simon Mewett along with founder Matt Hawkins will become COO and Chief Technology Officer respectively at CSI, managing C4L operation alongside CEO Andy Ross and CFO Julian Phipps.

Lester Aldridge provided a team of lawyers advising on specific aspects of the deal, ranging from AIM related compliance matters to real estate and employment law aspects of the transaction.

C4L took part in the government’s Connection Voucher Scheme last year, aiming to provide superfast broadband to local businesses.

Following Castle Street Investment’s acquisition of C4L and Selection Services, the company have unveiled their new collaborative brand, CORETX, to the public live at Cloud Expo Europe at the ExCeL in London.

Advisor Interview

Please introduce yourself, your role and your firm.

Grant Esterhuizen, Partner and Head of the Commercial Group at Lester Aldridge. We are a full-service lawfirm, with offices in Bournemouth, Southampton and London.

Lester Aldridge acted for the selling shareholders of C4L Group Holdings Limited. What was your specific role in negotiations?

My specific role was to lead and manage the transaction and provide commercial advice as required; we had a team of lawyers from various departments within the firm advising on specific aspects of the deal, ranging from AIM related compliance matters to real estate and employment law aspects of the transaction. Maintaining an overall, holistic approach to the deal in hand is always important, as is providing a “joined up” service to our clients.

Who instigated the deal – buyer or seller?

The sellers.

What were the challenges, if any, of bringing the deal to completion?

Despite a term sheet having been negotiated and agreed in early December 2015, the transaction only commenced in earnest in early January 2016 because of the Christmas break but mainly because the parent company of the acquirer, Castle Street Investments plc (“CSI”), was initially focussed on completing its acquisition of Selection Services Investments Limited (“SSI”). The SSI transaction closed on 21 January 2016. In early February 2016, and for commercial reasons, the selling shareholders of C4L Group Holdings Limited instructed Lester Aldridge that they had agreed with the acquirer to bring the completion date forward by three weeks. This really did make timescales very tight indeed but our team of advisors was able to rise to the challenge!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Some of the sellers elected to take shares in CSI as part of the transaction, which gave the transaction a new aspect and required us to advise on an effective re-investment by the sellers into the buyer, and safe-guarding the sellers’ long-term position.