Former child actor on cloud nine with £100m Inflexion windfall – Sky News

A technology entrepreneur who set up his IT company in his bedroom at the age of 22 is to toast a £100m windfall from the sale of the business to Inflexion, the private equity investor.

Sky News has learnt that Scott Fletcher, a former child actor who appeared in television shows such as Casualty and Jossy’s Giants, is closing in on a blockbuster deal to sell ANS Group.

City insiders said the sale could be announced as soon as next week.

a laptop keyboard

Image: The deal is expected to create a “leading group in the UK cloud communications sector”

The transaction, which will value ANS Group at more than £200m, will see it become part of a new holding company established by Inflexion.

According to people briefed on the deal, ANS will sit alongside UKFast, a provider of cloud hosting services which has been at the centre of controversy over allegations about the conduct of its founder, Laurence Jones.

Inflexion initiated an investigation into the allegations when they were reported by the Financial Times in 2019, and the buyout firm subsequently increased its stake in the business as well as bringing in a new leadership team.

Sources said that ANS and UKFast would continue to operate as separate businesses following the deal with Mr Fletcher.

“This purchase will create a leading group in the UK cloud communications sector,” said one person familiar with the transaction.

Manchester-based ANS provides a range of cloud services to public and private sector clients, and won several contracts relating to the government’s COVID-19 tracing app last year.

UKFast was founded in 1999 by Lawrence Jones and his wife Gail

Image: ANS will sit alongside UKFast, provided of cloud hosting services

For Mr Fletcher, who was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s 2014 Birthday Honours list, the sale of ANS will represent the pinnacle of a colourful career.

He has also chaired and invested in a string of tech businesses, and backed a push to encourage more women to work in the industry.

“The idea that IT is a ‘boys’ subject’ is outdated and needs to be changed,” he said several years ago.

Inflexion is understood to have seen off strong competition from rival private equity firms to secure the ANS deal.

ANS is being advised by bankers at Raymond James, while Inflexion is being advised by GCA Altium.

None of the parties contacted by Sky News would comment on Tuesday.