Calyx chief’s mobile venture boasts €6m turnover

2 Aug 2005

Commercial Wireless, a mobile venture chaired by Calyx CEO Maurice Healy has turned more than €6m within its first 12 months of operation, has learned. Healy also said his AIM-listed ICT solutions firm Calyx is planning two further acquisitions this year with a third planned for the UK early next year.

Commercial Wireless was set up over a year ago by Healy in collaboration with former Cellular World executives Conor Heaton and Ronan Murphy.

The company, which employs 25 people, specialises in kitting out the workforces of medium to large-sized enterprises with mobile phones and the company often works in partnership with Calyx to provide the backend integration. Healy explained: “We have a strong relationship with all the various mobile network operators and have set up a business ideal for strong recurring revenues.”

Healy also revealed Calyx, which three weeks ago acquired Convergent Systems for €600,000 in cash, is still on the acquisition trail and plans to acquire two more companies in the Irish market this year, with plans to enter the UK market through acquisition in the first half of next year.

He said: “We are in talks with a number of companies and feel it is important we acquire at the right price.

“Depending on the size of the acquisition, we would use cash or shares. At the moment our shares are cheap relative to the multiples that are out there for companies in our sector and that is understandable because it’s our first share and they’ve got to see our numbers come through.”

In March this year, Calyx raised €10.5m by listing on the London-based AIM. The company emerged after Healy led a management buyout of the IT and telecommunications wing of Alphyra in 2001. Initially, because of an overemphasis on hardware sales the company’s revenues in 2003 dropped from €36m to €30m. However, last year the company evinced strong growth and reported revenues of €34.5m.

The company has made at least six acquisitions in the past two years, including the €4.5m acquisition of Moss Technology and the €1m joint acquisition of Vipertec and Bevcom.

“We are hoping to do a couple of acquisitions in Ireland this year and then our intention is to be in the UK in the first half of next year. We are looking at Calyx-like companies in the UK and are talking to people there.

“The intention is that we will use our resources, the network operating centre here and manage it from Dublin.

“This year and next year we are targeting Ireland and the UK. We believe we can drive good value out of the UK marketplace for our customers and shareholders. We have a call centre in Dublin can manage technical calls anywhere,” Healy said.

Healy ruled out plans for Calyx to enter the US marketplace in the near future but said he wouldn’t rule it out in the longer term.

By John Kennedy