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Last Updated: Monday, 31 October 2005, 14:54 GMT
BT to 'expand' TNS after buy-out
TNS logo
TNS founder Mike Harris will continue on a 'day to day basis'
British Telecom (BT) has bought the company behind Welsh Premier soccer champions Total Network Solutions (TNS) in a multimillion-pound deal.

The IT firm, based in Oswestry, Shropshire, employs 92 people and runs the football club in nearby Llansantffraid, Powys.

BT said it had no plans for job losses and was looking to "expand" the firm.

TNS said the club's future was secure and next season it would be renamed Llansantffraid and Oswestry Town FC.

A TNS spokesman said the company's founder and managing director Mike Harris would continue to run the business, although overall control would be handed to BT.

As for the club, Mr Harris will continue as managing director - BT will not be involved.

BT's logo - copyright BT
TNS further enhances the range of solutions that BT can provide to its customers
Tom Craig, BT

Announcing the acquisition on Monday, the telecommunications giant said it had bought TNS for an undisclosed fee, but it is believed to run into millions of pounds.

A BT spokesman said it would not be relocating the business, which has assets of 9.1m.

He added that the acquisition enabled BT to build on its position as the "leading provider of networked IT services".

TNS football club's general manager Ian Williams, said more details about the takeover and the football club's future would be revealed on Friday.

"This will eventually result in the re-naming of the club, but its future is secure and Mike Harris will continue to be involved at the club," said Mr Williams.

"We will be announcing exciting plans for the future of the club on Friday."

He added that Mr Harris would continue to be involved with the company on a "day to day basis".

Tom Craig, president, IP Networking, BT Global Services, said: "TNS further enhances the range of solutions that BT can provide to its customers, enabling them to thrive in the digital networked economy."

TNS' Treflan ground in Llansantffraid
TNS played Liverpool in the Champions League in the summer

Mr Harris, who founded the firm in 1991, said the company would continue to sponsor the club until the end of this season.

"But we have already secured funding for the football club to continue operating in the future. Some of the proceeds from today's deal allow this to happen," he added.

A BT spokesman added that the company was planning to "expand" TNS, had no plans to make redundancies and would not be relocating the business.

Last month, the company said it was planning to move the club across the border to a new 3,000-seater stadium in Oswestry.

It plans to continue to run its current ground at Treflan, Llansantffraid.

The village football club's success on the pitch in Wales has only been eclipsed by its award-winning owners in the boardroom.

Since buying the club nearly 10 years ago, TNS has steered the team to the Welsh Premier title and the Champions League.

In the summer, the Saints played holders Liverpool over two high-profile legs.

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