Internet firm Claranet is to buy hosting services provider Star in a £55m deal that will create one of Europe's largest cloud businesses targeting the mid-market.
The deal will provide customers with services spanning the desktop to the datacentre, said Charles Nasser, chief executive of the Claranet Group.
“It’s our mission to help our customers make the most of internet-enabled technology, and the acquisition of Star will enable us to continue to deliver on this promise,” he added.
Claranet has existing infrastructure-as-a-service offerings, along with virtual datacentres, and managed hosting services. Star meanwhile brings experience in unified communications, remote desktop and security services.
The deal will see Claranet expand to employ 700 staff and serve 4,500 customers, with centres in the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal.
Claranet customers include Airbus, Amnesty International, Care UK, Channel 5, and Veolia.
Star was founded in 1995 and is most famous in its role in the creation of UK antivirus firm Messagelabs – now part of Symantec.
Messagelabs started life as Star's antivirus arm, but quickly out-grew it parent firm and was spun off from Star in 2007. When it was acquired in 2008, Symantec paid $700m for the UK-based security vendor.