Network services provider Metronet has acquired M247, a leading internet infrastructure and hosting company, for £47.5m.

Metronet, backed by mid-market private equity firm Livingbridge, currently employs 150 people across two sites in Manchester.

It works with over 2,500 business including Intu, Sofology and ao.com, delivering turnover of £21.5m in the financial year to 2016.

Metronet will now be able to offer a combined portfolio of connectivity and content services including wireless network services, datacentres and managed hosting solutions across the UK and Europe.

The combined business will have three datacentres, over 200 staff and EBITDA - earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization - in excess of £12m.

“M247 is an excellent fit for us as it provides the scale and reach to build upon our existing momentum and the expertise and infrastructure to provide richer solutions to our combined customers,” said Lee Perkins, chief executive at Metronet.

“In addition to further acquisitions of similarly high quality businesses to M247, we are making significant investments in our systems and people to facilitate a smooth integration for our customers and to support further organic growth.”

Established in 2003, Metronet operates the most advanced hybrid ISP network in the UK and, by combining a unique offering of wireless and wired technology, is able to offer connectivity solutions to corporates and SMEs across the Midlands and the North of England that are typically implemented five times quicker than traditional fibre and copper-based services.

David Buckle, managing director at M247, said: “We have known the Metronet team for some time and feel they are a perfect fit for our business. 

“They are the ideal home for M247 and we are extremely excited about what the future holds for our combined businesses.” 

M247 was founded in 2000 by school friends Jonathan Buckle and Chris Byrd, initially as a web hosting services business.

David Buckle, Jonathan’s father, decided to co-invest in the business to purchase a web hosting company named Open Hosting.

Open Hosting was then incorporated into Jonathan Buckle and Chris Byrd’s existing business before being rebranded as M247 in 2003. 

Today the business provides a wide range of solutions including web hosting, network and data security and 24/365 technical support.

The firm operates from Manchester, UK and Bucharest, Romania with clients including On the Beach and Warburtons.