BT acquires Cara Group for undisclosed sum

3 Nov 2005

Telecoms giant BT has acquired Irish technology firm Cara Group for an undisclosed sum, in a move that will create one of the largest networked IT services companies in Ireland. It is understood the acquisition will not result in layoffs at the 134-strong technology company.

The acquisition comes just over a year after BT Northern Ireland acquired Belfast-based BIC Systems for €25m in cash.

The acquisition will boost BT Ireland’s existing 900-strong workforce to more than 1,000 people in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick.

The Cara Group has been providing innovative ICT solutions to Irish businesses and public sector customers for more than 30 years. Headquartered in Dublin, the company employs 134 people in Dublin, Cork and Belfast. It had revenues for the year ended 2004 of €38m and the company had gross assets as at 31 December 2004 of €10m. The company specialises in IT and communications and works with technologies from Cisco, Microsoft, Novell and Citrix.

Speaking with, CEO of BT Ireland Danny McLaughlin said the acquisition follows the same strategic rationale as the BIC acquisition last year. “We are very clear about our strategy to become a leading player in the market for outsourced IT and managed services. We are examining how IT is delivered and how that will be maintained and evolve over time. We are looking forward to rolling out our services portfolio across Ireland.

“We are very pleased that a company such as Cara was available to be acquired. The company has a good reputation and a skilled workforce so it was a perfect target.”

The managing director of Cara David Little said it will be business as usual at the IT company for the foreseeable future. He confirmed there will be no rationalisation at the company. “BT’s core reason for acquiring the company is the skillset we have. We have a common customer base and we need to discuss the best approach going forward. So far we have received very positive feedback. There are very obvious synergies between the two companies. There will be no rationalisation or layoffs.”

Little continued: “This strategy will play out organically. What I see are traditional telecom companies moving into the IT services space. What Cara brings to the table is 15 years of providing outsourced and managed services.”

McLaughlin agreed: “We have customers that we provide wide area network and local area network services to. What we envisage is putting an IT services layer on top of that and offering services such as single helpdesk and provide a one-stop shop for IT.

“Customers going forward will be migrating from the traditional voice services to newer services such as voice over internet protocol and much work will have to be done in managing that transfer from legacy systems to 21st century communications networks,” McLaughlin said.

By John Kennedy