South Tyneside businessman seals £10m takeover deal

BIG DEAL ... Neil Stephenson, left, with George Sanger.
BIG DEAL ... Neil Stephenson, left, with George Sanger.

A BUSINESSMAN from South Tyneside has plenty of new year cheer after his company sealed a £10m takeover deal.

Neil Stephenson, the chief executive officer of the Onyx Group – one of the UK’s top technology solutions providers – has revealed his business has acquired Washington-based Knowledge IT.

The takeover of the ICT solutions and support company means Mr Stephenson’s business now has more than £30m in revenues, and he believes its expansion is also good news for the region’s economy.

The 42-year-old said: “This is an amazing start to 2015. This acquisition has transformed our company, and it shows there’s a regional appetite for growth.

“There’s a general election coming up, and the world will be looking at our economy so it’s good to know that banks, in our case HSBC, are willing to support the growth of businesses.

“I think confidence is growing, and this year is going to be a good one for us.”

This latest move is part of a dynamic and successful growth strategy for Onyx, which has offices on Tyneside and Teesside.

Since 2000, the group has completed five major acquisitions, and will have exceeded a turnover of £20m in 2014 – a 13 per cent increase on the previous year.

However, at £10m, the purchase of Knowledge IT is the biggest acquisition so far, increasing the firm’s head count to 170

The acquisition is a step towards achieving Onyx’s ambitious plans to become a national £100m revenue IT support and services business in the next five years.

Mr Stephenson said “Increasingly over the past two years, customers have been asking us to manage their entire IT infrastructure, as well as providing resilient solutions to complex cloud and hosting requirements. The Knowledge IT team has a great reputation for delivering these services, and this deal will make the Onyx propositions and reach stronger for both sets of customers.”

George Sanger, managing director of Knowledge IT, added: “Onyx Group, like Knowledge IT has an established reputation for providing outstanding customer support. We welcome the opportunity to share our expertise to help Onyx build on their achievements and grow the enlarged business.”

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