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IT company advances with investment boost

A TECHNOLOGY company which specialises in providing managed IT services for a range of public and private sector customers is set for further expansion after investment from the Finance for Business North East Angel Fund.

The Fund, which is managed by Rivers Capital Partners, has invested a six-figure sum in Gateshead-based IT specialist Advantex Network Solutions in a deal advised by law firm Ward Hadaway.

Investment boost – (from left) David O'Connell of Advantex, Richard Butts of Ward Hadaway, Esther Wilson of Rivers Capital Partners, Ben Williamson of Clive Owen & Co, Nikita Bazko of Rivers Capital Partners and Stephen O'Connell of Advantex.

Investment boost – (from left) David O’Connell of Advantex, Richard Butts of Ward Hadaway, Esther Wilson of Rivers Capital Partners, Ben Williamson of Clive Owen & Co, Nikita Bazko of Rivers Capital Partners and Stephen O’Connell of Advantex.

The Fund’s investment will help to facilitate further growth for the business and support its plans to increase turnover by 20% this year. The influx of capital from the North East Angel Fund will enable the recruitment of additional staff, thereby safeguarding over 40 jobs in the region.

Advantex specialises in providing managed IT services – computers, telecommunications equipment, cloud hosting, security systems and others – to schools and businesses with clients including Caterpillar, ScS and BT.

The company, which was founded in 2002, provides a complete IT and Communications solution service to clients across the UK, flexible to suit any type of business over a wide range of sectors. This fully integrated service enables client businesses to run smoothly without the need to deal with multiple different suppliers and companies.

The funding injection from the North East Angel Fund will be used to invest in new personnel and equipment, including vehicles, building works to increase office space and IT infrastructure.

Advantex will use some of the money to expand its hosted services offering, allowing it to host more clients’ services and hardware in its data centre, and is recruiting three new sales staff and four additional engineers and support staff to add to its current 40-strong workforce.

Stephen O’Connell, sales and marketing director at Advantex Network Solutions, said: “We have seen a real acceleration in demand for our services so this investment has come at just the right time.

“In June for example we secured a £750,000 contract to provide new technology and managed services to 10 academies and colleges across the North East and we see the education sector as a key source of further growth for our business, in addition to providing managed systems for a range of businesses in the private sector.

“This investment will help us to fund that expansion as we look to grow our turnover to £4m and it also demonstrates that other organisations see the value and the potential in the work which we are doing.”

Nikita Bazko, portfolio manager at Rivers Capital Partners, said: “Advantex has been building its expertise and experience in what is a very competitive sector for over 10 years and has already proved its worth with a number of contract wins from prominent organisations in the public and private sectors.

“The directors of the company have demonstrated their commitment to the expansion of the business and hopefully the investment from the Finance for Business North East Angel Fund will help to further accelerate this process as Advantex sets its sights on a £4m turnover.”

Imogen Holland, Corporate Partner at Ward Hadaway, provided legal advice to Rivers Capital Partners on the investment in Advantex Network Solutions.

Imogen said: “We are delighted to have played our part in assisting Rivers Capital Partners on this investment from the Finance for Business North East Angel Fund.

“Advantex Network Solutions has a clear vision for its development and ambitious plans for further expansion in its key sectors.”

Ben Williamson, Associate Director with Clive Owen Corporate Finance, said: “Advantex is a long-standing client and has weathered the storm of the recession well.

“We have since been planning together for growth, and we are delighted to have secured the working capital that will allow Advantex to pursue its ambitious plans.”

Ward Hadaway has previously advised Rivers Capital Partners on over 30 investments from the Finance for Business North East Angel Fund.

The Finance for Business North East Angel Fund invests in start-ups and existing businesses with growth potential in the region.

It forms part of the £125m Finance for Business North East investment fund established to provide debt and equity funding to SMEs based in North East England.

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