Kick ICT Group (Kick), the fast-growing IT company launched by technology entrepreneur Tom O’Hara, has acquired Bellshill-based Castle Computer Services (Castle), one of Scotland’s longest-established full service IT businesses.
The deal, which is for an undisclosed sum, has created Scotland’s largest independent IT services business specialising in the SME market. The acquisition has been funded by a combination of retained cash and a flexible debt facility provided by HSBC.
Founded in 1982 by Andrew Munro, who is now retiring from the business, Castle has a turnover of £9m and provides a range of Infor and Microsoft accounting and financial management software systems, business intelligence solutions and managed IT services and consultancy to 500 clients across the UK.
Tom, alongside long term co director Alan Turnbull and Talon Founder David Chazan have grown Kick rapidly since acquiring Talon in 2015. The acquisition of Roxapp, a specialist Microsoft Dynamics reseller followed in 2016 with Vozero, a boutique Microsoft Dynamics Nav consultancy being added in 2017. The newly enlarged group will have a combined turnover of more than £12m, more than 100 employees and over 700 clients. With a continued multi vendor approach and strong growth expected from the Infor, Microsoft and Technical divisions Kick is targeting 1000 clients by 2020.
Commenting on the acquisition of Castle, Tom O’Hara, said: “The deal has created a significant, independent IT business with the potential to become a major player in the UK IT market. We are focused on creating the best IT services business specialising in the SME market, and are keen to accelerate our growth plans now that we have the scale to expand more quickly.”
George Strathie, former director of Castle Computer Services who joins Kick as part of the deal, said: “The deal is an excellent fit for both companies as it creates a business with the scale needed to move to the next level. The combined resources of both companies will mean our clients gain access to the complete suite of IT services and expertise, and our staff can develop their careers with an ambitious business. We look forward to working with Tom and the team as we develop our plans for growing the business.”
Sam Gillespie, Relationship Director at HSBC in Scotland, added: “HSBC is delighted to be supporting Kick ICT Group in its acquisition of Castle. Kick ICT has shown rapid growth and the management team have an excellent track record in growing successful businesses. We look forward to working with them as they focus on creating an IT business of scale in Scotland.”
Kick ICT Group is jointly owned by Tom O’Hara, Alan Turnbull and David Chazan, and is headquartered in Finnieston Business Park, Glasgow.