Technology, media and telecoms (TMT) firms are among the fastest growing private equity-backed businesses in the UK, with 26 sector companies featuring in the latest Sunday Times Deloitte Buyout Track 100.
TMT was the second largest contributor to the table after “consumer-related companies”, which claimed 28 of the top 100 spots. The table ranks companies according to the compound annual growth in their profits over two years, based on their latest available figures.
Visual effects software provider The Foundry came top of the TMT category, claiming tenth position in the overall league, having enjoyed 83 percent growth a year to reach profits of over £5 million. Backed by The Carlyle Group, The Foundry's software has been used to create visual effects sequences for films such as Avatar, Alice in Wonderland and Black Swan.
The company was closely followed in eleventh place by BigHand, the LDC-backed dictation software developer, which has seen profits surge to over £3.5 million on annual growth of 81 percent. Meanwhile, technology outsourcing provider Parseq, supported by HarbourVest Partners, reached 15th position on a compound annual profit increase of 78 percent.
“TMT and, in particular, IT sector businesses, have continued to deliver significant growth with the strategic support of private equity firms, despite wider economic conditions,” said Mark Bolshaw, managing director and head of UK regions at Lloyds Bank Wholesale Banking & Markets, which sponsored the study.
“Increasing adoption of cloud computing and mobile business applications, and ever-increasing data storage capabilities, amongst other trends, should see the market remain a keen target for sponsors over the coming years,” he added.
The UK government has been keen to highlight the role of Britain's IT sector in driving the country's economic recovery. In particular, London's “Tech City” has been the focus of much political attention and venture capital investment over the last few months, and American IT companies are increasingly choosing to set up shop in and around the Shoreditch area.
Only today, Google is rumoured to be preparing to unveil a seven-storey building in Shoreditch called Campus, which will offer desk space, meeting rooms and event spaces for aspiring tech entrepreneurs. The firm says it wants to create an "entrepreneur community" in the building.
Last month, Business Secretary Vince Cable announced plans to fund a Digital Economy “Catapult” centre to help drive innovation and adoption of new technologies by UK businesses.
The Catapult centre will act as a “hub for the best innovations in the digital sector,” and will conduct research into sustainability, consumerisation and the impact that new technologies are having on existing platforms, according to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).