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Gowling WLG helps GCI take its ICT solutions offering to the next level

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14 July 2017

A team of specialists at International law firm Gowling WLG, led by Partner Chris Tate and working alongside GCI's Group General Counsel Anna Clarke, has assisted GCI, one of the UK’s leading Managed Service Providers, in its acquisition Blue Chip, based in Hampshire and with offices in London and Leeds. This is GCI’s fifth and largest deal in the last eighteen months over which time GCI has more than doubled its revenues. This now makes GCI both one of the fastest growing, and one of the largest privately owned Managed Service Providers in the UK with circa 500 staff, turnover approaching £100m, a broad technical capability and multiple vendor certifications - including more than 20 at Gold, Platinum and Premier level.

GCI's strategy has been to build one of the UK's most capable, trusted and consultative Managed Service Providers.The acquisition of Blue Chip adds a critical 5th pillar to GCI's capability (Full IT Support Services) and has increased its technical headcount to more than 300 specialists. Simply put, this means that GCI can now augment an organisations IT resource and provide both day-to-day support for routine activity (tactical aspects) but can also help shape an organisations full digital transformation planning also (the all-important strategic aspects). This capability will be increasingly decisive as Brexit begins to bite and organisations look to technology providers like GCI to build competitive advantage.

Commenting on the acquisition, GCI's CEO Adrian Thirkill stated: "Our latest acquisition is another great name and is right up there with earlier acquisitions including Outsourcery and Freedom which have already added immeasurably to our capability. It's a really simple story: we are continuing our commitment to finesse the shape and direction of GCI and align our services and solutions with our customers' requirements across all sectors in large SME, mid-tier enterprise, strategic partners and UK Government. We are aiming to be at the vanguard in helping organisations digitally transform and then support them with the second phase -'digital business as usual'. Blue Chip filled a capability gap and is another great step in our own evolution."

"Anna Clarke, Group General Counsel at GCI added: "Ensuring that we had the right legal guidance helped us achieve this acquisition within an ambitious timeframe and achieve our strategic objectives. Gowling WLG provided a strong guiding arm throughout proceedings and provided sector and technical experience that exceeded the core requirements. Our partnership with Gowling WLG frankly mirrored the partnership approach we take with our own customers, so it felt natural and it worked well."

Gowling WLG's Chris Towle concluded: "The legal processes required to deliver this acquisition were complex at times, but the clarity of brief provided by GCI helped us shape a successful, targeted approach. The net result was that we helped add another great business the GCI Group and support its differentiation even further. The transaction proceeded well, and I agree with Anna that key to its success was the partnership approach we adopted to overcome the twists and turns that we faced together.


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