Mitie is on the hunt for acquisitions to boost its telecom support business

British outsourcing company Mitie is on the hunt for more acquisitions as it aims to expand its fast-growing telecoms support business to boost margins and build out the UK’s 5G network.

This follows the creation of its telecoms division, which includes land acquisition, mast construction and design, and equipment maintenance as it moves to 5G in the UK.

By 2030, the UK has set a target for the majority of the population to have access to 5G, a fifth-generation technology for broadband networks that could be much faster with less latency than 4G.

Simon Venn, managing director of technical services at Mitie, said: “We are already one of the largest providers in the UK, but we are still actively looking to grow this part of our business through other acquisitions.”

Mitie, a leading UK listed outsourcer with a market capitalization of £1bn and a workforce of 68,000, is also seeking to remove China’s Huawei from the UK telecoms network by 2027 due to security concerns.

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Mitie Telecoms was formed in 2021 after the group acquired DAEL Ventures. Since then, the business has grown with the purchase of 8Point8 and P2ML.

While Mitie does not disclose the size of its telecoms business, it insists that the scale of its operations and end-to-end capabilities make it an attractive partner for the telecoms industry.

In addition to acquisitions, the client also wants to organically expand this department.

Venn also emphasized that removing Huawei’s infrastructure was a “huge amount of work” that meant “massive investment in 4G and 5G.”

“If you look at the amount of telecoms masts in the UK alone, it will cost thousands of masts for each operator and to remove Huawei equipment and hardware. [is] it’s a huge task in itself, so it’s an opportunity.”

According to John Strand, the founder of the telecommunications consulting company Strand Consult, the introduction of 5G could be a growth driver for Mitie in the medium term. Overall, growth slowed following the expiration of contracts related to Covid-19.

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He added: “Mitie has a three-to-four year period where there is a lot of construction activity and where they can secure a number of attractive contracts with operators.”

Mitie has also completed capacity upgrades to more than 4,000 sites that connect calls to the emergency services and erected temporary masts to facilitate communications at public events, including Glastonbury.

In addition to telecommunications, Mitie offers a range of services to central government and businesses in planning, security, landscaping, waste management, cleaning, energy management and decarbonisation.

Other companies in the UK telecoms support space include Renew holdings, construction group Galliford Try, M Group Services and Cellnex UK.