The entrepreneur behind one of Britain’s biggest privately-held IT services groups is close to sealing its first cybersecurity acquisition with a recommended offer to buy London-listed ECSC.
Sky News understands that Daisy Group, which was founded by Matt Riley, is on the brink of an announcement to acquire the AIM-listed company.
ECSC counts blue-chip businesses including Nationwide, the Wimbledon tennis championships and Rio Tinto among its clients.
It operates in the fast-growing area of cybersecurity services, although it has a modest market capitalisation of just £2m.
Sources said it would be absorbed within Daisy’s Corporate Services division once the acquisition has completed.
ECSC employs 60 cybersecurity specialists, and has a workforce of 80 people.
The takeover of ECSC will mark the latest in a struck of deals struck by Mr Riley, which have included the £210m purchase of rival XLN Telecom last year.
Daisy is now second only to BT Group in the UK’s SME telecoms market, and now employs roughly 1,000 people.
It manages mobile, cloud and other services for business customers through several divisions.
Mr Riley has sought to grow Daisy by positioning it at the heart of the transition to digital telecoms services in order to access greater speed, reliability and security.
Daisy, whose founder has become one of Britain’s wealthiest self-made people, was at one stage listed on the public market in London before being taken private again in 2014 with the backing of Toscafund Asset Management.
Mr Riley remains its majority shareholder, with backing from Ares and Oakley Capital.
Allenby Capital, the stockbroker, is understood to be acting for ECSC on the deal.
Daisy declined to comment, while ECSC could not be reached for comment.