Altnet M&A

Acquisition Target Identification

Cunniffe & Helm’s experience working and networking within the altnet community leaves us well placed to identify and advise upon possible acquisition targets.  We look at acquisitions as a increase of capacity opportunity, buying in skills and product sets to allow a horizontal or vertical expansion within the marketplace, or as a method for rapid customer-base expansion.

Working with you, we can help identify acquisition targets of suitable sizes and technology mixes to suit your business.

Altnet Database

Cunniffe & Helm compile and maintain a database of altnets in the UK.  There is a slight focus on wireless ISPs at present, although it does not consist exclusively of these.

Our goal over time is to track the growth and estimated value of these altnets and service providers, helping to facilitate industry communication, mergers and acquisitions.


  • Financial tracking.
  • Size estimations.
  • Coverage estimations.
  • Personal relationships.

Due Diligence

Cunniffe & Helm can provide expertise to assist in the technical due diligence of a possible network purchase or merger.  This can be slanted to look at validating financial claims, reporting on possible remediation work required or assessing the feasibility and best routes for merging two or more networks.

Network Performance

Through available trend data or through establishing trend data of our own, we assess the performance of the network.  Focusing on predetermined KPIs (typically uptime, throughput-to-capacity ratio, latency, jitter and PPP session time), we analyse and report on the state of the network.

Customer Service & Satisfaction Levels

Tracking customer service and satisfaction levels on someone else’s network without looking through a tinted lens is often hard.  We work to identify any relevant internal systems to evidence this and processes that could be put in place without creating too many overheads.

Asset Verification, Valuation and Quality

Through physical site visits, we can work to verify, value and assess current assets on the network, providing assurance on financial valuations.

Local Government Plans

Key to the longevity of any ISP’s customer footprint is the extent to which competition will increase.  Local government plans have the ability to overbuild smaller altnets, particularly wireless ISPs, which can substantially reduce future take-up rates and increase the risk for churn.  We can investigate these plans, tracking OMRs and likely timelines.

Network Longevity

Through examining the network assets deployed, the deployment methodology, protections around infrastructure that are in place (such as wayleaves) and traffic analysis and predictions, we can form an assessment of the longevity of the network.  This helps to identify where future investment may be needed and if the asset base will support the desired ROI.

SWOT Analysis

Independent SWOT analysis, aided by our industry experience and delving through data, research and questions, helps to identify the potential strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to networks and service providers prior to a valuation being reached.

Buyer Identification

When you think you might be interested in selling, approaching a buyer can be tricky due to commercial sensitivities and concerns.  We can help you ascertain what a sale structure could look like, how the business could be valued and how possible buyers can be approached.

Our knowledge of the industry places us well to help you identify possible buyers, and our experience in preparing companies to sell can help you sort out the documentation required ahead of time, ensuring a compelling pitch.  We have clients looking to make acquisitions within the altnet space and may be able to make introductions quickly.

Where sensitivities are particularly high, we can also act as a go-between, masking the sellers and the buyers until each side feels confident enough to sign non-disclosure agreements with the other.

If you would like to discuss how the process might work, or you have some ideas you would like to advance, please do get in touch.

Preparing to Sell

If you are preparing to sell your business, either because of an approach by another company or an approach you are hoping to make, getting your documentation in line is vital.  The easier you can make the process for the buyer, the more likely you are to get the outcome you desire.

Customer Reporting

Accurately reporting on your customer base, revenue streams, contract positions and churn rate, among other facts, is key to the valuation of most altnets.  Reporting this in a clear, updatable and easily understandable way will help the process go smoothly and give potential purchasers confidence.

Financial Forecasting

Presenting a detailed cash flow for the next 12-36 months highlights for potential buyers where they may be able to cut costs through merging their operations.  It also helps provide transparency as to any risks they may wish to consider and may bolster the company’s cash valuation.

Leases, Licences & Wayleaves

For altnets with a physical network presence of their own, security of the asset is vital.  Evidencing that you have a right to have your equipment, be it buried fibre or building-mounted radio antenna, where it is, and that it will be allowed to stay there for a while, is key to any potential buyer and thus your valuation.  We can help you audit this paperwork and put agreements in place where needed.

Network Documentation

Documenting your network demonstrates a degree of technical understanding and processes that help give confidence in your deployment.  It also provides a way for the buyer to assess the network, identify possible integration routes and plan how smooth or complex managing/merging it might be.

Regardless of whether you intend to stay with the business, single points of knowledge are a negative for any purchaser, and showing these do not exist will help.

We can help build this documentation for you, either from scratch or working with your current records.

KPIs & Performance Trends

Nothing better shows the quality of a network than KPIs over time.  Collecting and presenting this data in a useful way shows the stability of the network and the experiences of customers.

The same is applicable to customer services.  Evidencing a swift and efficient history of handling enquiries, faults and complaints that can be rolled out in a processed way adds value to a business.

Talk to us

Contact us today by calling 01392 793 079, emailing or through our contact form to discuss how we can help with any of these services.