ICON wins investment for broadband network company

London, UK, – Equinox Converged Solutions Ltd announced today that Apax Partners Funds have become a major investor in the company following the completion of an £11 million investment.   The move provides a platform for Equinox to build on its current position to become the premier London Public Services broadband supplier.

In partnership with the London Grid for Learning, a consortium of all 33 London Boroughs, Equinox has designed and built one of the world’s largest Ethernet Metropolitan Area Networks to serve London’s schools.  Over 1,500 schools are already connected to the network at speeds of up to 100MB per second, with around 100 schools being added every month. London is ahead of the Government’s targets for broadband connections to schools.

Brian Durrant, CEO of the London Grid for Learning (LGfL), said “Equinox’s high performance network has enabled LGfL to become the most advanced education focused broadband network in the world, enabling schools in London to benefit from high speed Internet access”.

Commenting on the news, Equinox CEO Angus Merelie said “With our innovative approach we have already proved we can offer our customers compelling value for money, whilst establishing an asset which is fast becoming the broadband network of choice for London’s public services. The vision remains to provide all services, including shared telephony, on the network. This is a very good day for e-Government in London.”

Mike Grabiner and John McMonigall will represent Apax Partners on the Board of Equinox.   Mike Grabiner, who will become Chairman of the Board, said “Equinox’s outstanding progress in connecting London’s schools to its excellent high speed broadband network, together with its strong partnership with the LGfL, puts it in pole position as the rollout of broadband services to the public sector gathers speed”.

Alan Bristow, head of ICON Corporate Finance who co-ordinated the transaction for Equinox added: “This is a significant transaction and the £11m investment by one of the world’s leading investment groups is clearly indicative of the success the company has enjoyed to date. There was keen investor demand and we were delighted to have secured Apax as the investor.”

About Equinox

Equinox operates a major fibre optic Metropolitan Area Network in London. It provides high capacity broadband connections and a wide range of managed services to the public sector and education, including Local Area Networking, Wide Area Networking, internet services, enhanced managed telephony and unified messaging. The Equinox network extends across the capital, giving wide coverage of the Greater London area. Customers include 33 London Local Education Authorities, 9 London Borough Councils and more than 50 libraries, independent schools and other educational and public sector establishments.

The company has around 100 employees and is headquartered in Farnborough, Hampshire, UK.

For more information, please visit: WWW.EQUINOXSOLUTIONS.COM

Arthur Bird, Director of Business Development
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 405 600
Email: ARTHUR.BIRD@EQUINOXSOLUTIONS.COM

About Apax Partners

Apax Partners is one of the world’s leading private equity investment groups, operating across Europe, Israel, the United States and Japan. With over 30 years of direct investing experience, Apax Partners’ Funds provide long-term equity financing to entrepreneurs to build and strengthen world-class companies.   It pursues a balanced equity portfolio strategy, investing in companies at all stages of development from early stage to buy-out.

Apax Partners’ Funds invest in companies across its 6 chosen global sectors of information technology, telecommunications, healthcare, media, financial services, retail and consumer.   Some of Apax Partners’ Funds information technology and telecommunications investments include Dialog Semiconductor, Fractus, Frontier Silicon, Inmarsat, Kabel Deutschland, Nexagent, Sonim Technologies, RedM, Wisair and Yell.   For additional information, visit the web site at www.apax.com

For further information, please contact:
Siobhan Loftus, Director of Marketing
Tel: +44 (0)20 7872 6495
Email: Siobhan.Loftus@apax.com

Clare Sillars, Press Officer
Tel: +44 (0)20 7872 6476
Email: Clare.Sillars@apax.com