London, 3rd October, 2014: ECI Partners, the growth-focused mid-market private equity firm, has sold portfolio company XLN Business Services (“XLN”) to a vehicle backed by GSO Capital Partners (“GSO”), a division of the Blackstone Group L.P. (“Blackstone”) and XLN’s management team. XLN was the first investment from ECI’s Fund 9 in September 2010 and this exit has yielded ECI a 3x return on its investment.
During ECI’s period of investment XLN made two bolt-on acquisitions: acquiring Card Processing Solutions (to provide a credit and debit card processing service to its customer base) and Shine Telecom (a smaller provider of fixed line telecoms to small businesses). The ECI Team supported management in their development of a broad business services strategy culminating in the acquisition of CPS and the organic launch of energy services. Online sales grew strongly under ECI to complement the company’s existing sales and marketing channels.
Founded in 2002 by its current CEO, Christian Nellemann, XLN is the leading independent provider of fixed line, broadband, energy and bank card processing services to small businesses across the UK with a particular focus on micro SMEs with between one and 10 employees. XLN’s entrepreneurial approach has earned it numerous awards at national level including Christian Nellemann becoming the UK’s only serial entrepreneur to win the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, twice.