ONE of the most high-profile tech companies in Dorset has been sold in a £20million deal.

Westbourne-based C4L, which provides internet services and runs the largest privately owned data centre network in the UK, has been acquired by an investment company.

C4L chief executive Simon Mewett said the acquisition gave C4L “huge potential, financial security and doubles our customers overnight”.

He and Matt Hawkins, who founded the business in 2000, will become chief operations officer and chief technology officer respectively at CSI. They  will manage the C4L operation with CEO Andy Ross and chief finance officer Julian Phipps.

“I have been through similar acquisitions many times and was very protective of sharing C4L with the right people," said Mr Mewett.

"However, our values, culture and future ambitions match and they wanted the whole C4L package which was extremely important to us,” he said.

The sale was handled by Lester Aldridge, acting for the selling shareholders of C4L Group Holdings Limited.

It said C4L had been sold to Selection Services Investments Ltd, a subsidiary of Castle Street Investments PLC (CSI), for £20.2m in cash and shares in CSI.

C4L was a major player in the rollout of superfast broadband to local businesses last year through the government’s Connection Voucher Scheme. It provided the internet connection for guests at Bournemouth’s new Hilton Hotel.

The company is also known for its support of AFC Bournemouth, sponsoring the main stand at the Vitality Stadium.

Lester Aldridge said the deal was dealt with by Simon Holden of its London office and Grant Esterhuizen in Bournemouth office, who led a team advising the selling shareholders.

Mr Holden said: “We are delighted to have assisted the selling shareholders of C4L, who have built a high-growth company within an exciting sector, and we would like to take this opportunity to wish them and the enlarged CSI management team every success in their future business endeavours.”

Mr Esterhuizen said: “We worked alongside the selling shareholders giving them clear, pragmatic advice on the acquisition process and ensuring that the deal was completed within a tight deadline. As head of the commercial group, I am proud at the collective team effort and contribution which was made getting this across the line for our clients.”