Knight Corporate Finance has advised the shareholders of channel-focused Unified Communications provider Zest4 on its strategic investment from Focus Group.

Zest4 will operate alongside Focus Group’s existing direct channel operation and the investment will accelerate new business growth opportunities, extend the portfolio of products and services for the channel and create a scalable channel business for the UK market.

Zest4 will continue to operate independently and be led by its Managing Director, Mandy Fazelynia, alongside the existing management team.

Mandy commented: “We have invested heavily in Zest4 over the years, becoming one of the best-known service providers to the channel. We have known Focus Group co-founders Chris Goodman and Ralph Gilbert for a long time and from the outset, this investment was always going to be the most exciting next step for the business. We know the reputation, growth mindset and culture that Focus Group brings to the table will elevate Zest4 to the next level.”

The transaction was led by Paul Billingham and Dom Lillie of Knight Corporate Finance, supported by Jack Burgess and Ethan Devine.

Paul Billingham, Director of Knight Corporate Finance, said: “We have known the team at Zest4 for as long as we have operated Knight, and to be able to work with the team to secure a transaction that includes an investment to propel the business over the next few years for Mandy and the team is one we are very proud of.

“The ICT sector remains at the heart of our business and having completed significant transactions for channel providers Union Street, Pragma and now Zest4, alongside exits for direct providers Incom, Cavendish and Riverlite in recent years, Knight continues to demonstrate its position as the leading advisory business in ICT.”

Mandy Fazelynia added: “We have known the team at Knight for many years and they have always been there when we have needed informal advice on various strategic opportunities.

“When we decided to undertake a formal process, we already had an appreciation of their sector knowledge and they knew Zest4 and our culture. It was clear Knight had strong relationships at CEO level with every party we wanted to include in the process and they were able to deliver a genuinely diverse range of offers from some fantastic businesses.

“We selected Focus as they were able to meet the individual aspirations of all our shareholders with a deal that enabled all shareholders to re-invest, Freddie and Kevan moving to an advisory role, whilst allowing myself and the management team to continue leading the business and to benefit from Focus’ scale and ambition moving forwards.”