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NorthEdge Capital backs Orbis Protect’s bolt-on acquisition of Optosafe

Private equity-backed property, site and people protection specialist Orbis Protect has made its first acquisition following a strong period of growth despite the UK-wide lockdown. The business has bought Glasgow-based Optosafe, the 360-degree CCTV tower provider with which it has partnered for the last three years.

Orbis Protect employs more than 400 staff across 19 UK depots, working with clients across the private and public sectors. Its services include vacant property management and securing such properties so that they are ready for re-occupation, as well as site security for commercial offices, construction and other vulnerable sites. The business also offers a lone worker monitoring solution, supporting 35,000 workers annually with personalised alarm services.

The deal follows NorthEdge’s initial backing in 2018 and two years of strong organic growth for Orbis Protect, which has achieved consistent year-on-year organic EBITDA growth in excess of 20% since 2016. Earlier this year, the business ranked eighth in the Sunday Times’ Profit Track and, following this acquisition, is expecting to achieve in excess of £8 million EBITDA in the next financial year.

During lockdown, Orbis Protect has seen rapid grown of its decontamination services. In March, it had six team members trained to deliver specialist cleaning services, which include fogging technology to remove traces of COVID-19, with a further 60 being trained throughout lockdown to meet customer demand.

CCTVTower

Supporting the client base

Guy Other, CEO at Orbis Protect, said: “During lockdown we have been able to adapt quickly to support our clients. This approach to spotting new opportunities for our business has been key to us continuing to report strong organic growth. NorthEdge has been supportive of our ambitions since backing the business, and its backing in terms of our first acquisition has been invaluable.”

Other added: “Over the last few years we have managed to develop a strong partnership with Optosafe on a range of client projects. The specialist insight which the team can provide makes this deal a key part of our ongoing strategy and will help us to further accelerate our growth.”

Optosafe CTO John Robertson has now joined Orbis as managing director of the Optosafe division and will continue to focus on delivering customer solutions, while at the same time driving new product development opportunities.

Robertson told Security Matters: “We know our markets well and are aware of the high demand for Optosafe’s services. It makes monitoring and security for areas like construction, infrastructure and the utilities much safer and more reliable than traditional security systems, which is key for clients who own and operate such assets. Working with Orbis Protect will allow us to accelerate our ongoing R&D work in order to develop new services for our customers.”

Details of the deal

The acquisition was funded in part thanks to financing provided by Clydesdale Yorkshire Bank. Orbis was supported on the acquisition by Deloitte (corporate finance), Browne Jacobson (legal), BDO (financial due diligence), Fairgrove Partners (commercial due diligence) and Better Basics (operational due diligence).

Kevin O’Loughlin, investment director at NorthEdge Capital, explained: “Orbis Protect has performed exceptionally well in the harshest of trading environments presented by COVID-19. The acquisition of Optosafe provides Orbis Protect with additional penetration into the high-growth CCTV towers market and underpins the exciting growth strategy which management has in place for the business.”

Ian Mansell, senior director at Clydesdale Yorkshire Bank, added: “We are delighted to have worked with the team at Orbis Protect and alongside NorthEdge Capital to deliver what is a highly strategic acquisition. To have completed this deal against such a challenging backdrop is testament to the resilient and highly sustainable performance seen across the core business, which should be further enhanced through this acquisition. We look forward to continuing to support Orbis Protect on delivering its ambitious plans for future growth.”

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