Ipswich-based QDOS Communications to merge with SBL Group of Manchester

Simon Catterick of QDOS

Simon Catterick of QDOS - Credit: Archant

Ipswich-based QDOS Communications, a leading supplier of telecoms and IT solutions to the hospitality industry, is to become part of a £10m turnover business following a merger deal with another major player in the sector.

QDOS, which was established 25 years ago, is joining forces with the Manchester-based SBL Group, with funding and growth support provided by private business investor Stone Ventures.

The combined business, to be known as QDOS SBL Group, will continue to operate from the two constituent companies’ existing UK locations, in Ipswich, Manchester and London, and overseas offices in Amsterdam and Washington DC.

Simon Catterick, who is currently chief executive of QDOS and will become group chief executive of QDOS SBL, said: “In bringing together the QDOS and SBL customer bases and retaining key employees from both companies we’re confident in our ability to deploy cost-effective, leading-edge technology to our long-established customers and new customers alike.

“This is backed up with a professional helpdesk, technical support and field engineering services, on a 24/7 basis, 365 days a year.

“Working with Stone Ventures we see their financial investment as the start of a long-term relationship with QDOS SBL Group, in which they will also invest their time and expertise, helping in the years ahead turn two good businesses into a consolidated great one.”

Stewart Baird, chief executive of Stone Ventures, added: “As a long-term investor in SBL Group joining forces with the team at QDOS is an exciting milestone. We are excited by the vision and growth plans for the new business.”

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The combined client base of QDOS SBL will include international hospitality brands such as Accor, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, IHG, Rezidor, Shangri-La and Wyndham, and leading UK names including The Ritz, Caprice Holdings, Grace Hotels, Nadler Hotels, Malmaison, and Hotel du Vin.

The two companies will also continue to serve their current mix of small and mid-sized clients in other sectors including education, retail, legal and utilities.

Mr Catterick joined QDOS in 2005 and, having been part of the management team which sold the business to AIM-listed plc Hilton Head in 2007, led a management buyout which reclaimed control the company in 2010.

Since then, the workforce in Ipswich has grown from eight to 47. SBL has a total of 18 employees.