SHS extends breadth of industrial services with £2m acquisition
– Acquisition follows £5.4m investment of growth capital by BGF in September 2012 –
BGF portfolio company SHS Integrated Services, a specialist provider of high specification industrial scaffolding and associated services, has acquired Dixon Pentland Scaffolding Company Limited, a leading provider of scaffolding services to the energy and heavy industrial sectors. The opportunity was introduced to SHS by Grant Thornton Corporate Finance in Cardiff, who also advised on the transaction. The value of the transaction was approximately £2m.
The acquisition will provide Barry-based SHS with a national platform for expansion into a highly specialised and regulated market.
Based in Doncaster, Dixon Pentland specialises in work in the critical services sector, for example providing scaffolding services to the power line and transmission industry. The company’s specialist work for customers such as National Grid is complementary to SHS’s own activities on petrochemical and utilities sites.
With an annual turnover of £5m, key customers of Dixon Pentland include AMEC, Babcock and Balfour Beatty and the company employs 65 people.
Founded in 1998 by Paul Smith, SHS erects and dismantles large scale, technically demanding scaffolding structures for clients in the petrochemical, oil and power generation sectors. It also provides complementary insulation services. SHS’s services are often required by site owners, operators and contractors for essential maintenance and refurbishment work of industrial plants. Offering the highest safety and operational standards, SHS has secured long term contracts with multinationals such as Dow Corning, Murco and Alstom.
SHS financed the acquisition following investment totalling £5.4 million made in September 2012 by BGF.
Dixon Pentland represents the first acquisition that SHS has made using BGF capital.
Finance director, Gavin Payne, who led the deal on behalf of SHS, commented:
“This is an important step for SHS. Dixon Pentland’s reputation and customer base is a great fit with SHS, opening up new markets and enabling us to provide an even more complete service to our customers. We shall be continuing to work with Grant Thornton and BGF to identify potential further acquisitions to complement and extend our offering in what is a highly-specialised market.”
Paul Oldham, BGF’s regional director for South Wales and the South West of England, commented:
“SHS was the first company in Wales that BGF has backed and our investment was made in order to strengthen the company’s core capabilities, develop a broader range of services and expand into new sectors and geographies. Dixon Pentland is a highly complementary acquisition given its reputation in the industry as a well-established, high quality operator and will add considerably to the range of services that SHS is able to offer its clients.”
York Mailing extends print offering with The Lettershop Group acquisition
BGF portfolio company York Mailing Limited, the UK market leader in the specialist production of retail flyers, media inserts and quality catalogues has completed the acquisition of The Lettershop Group (TLG), one of the leading print marketing and mailing solution providers in Europe.
The acquisition will add significant complementary and technologically advanced printing capabilities to the York Mailing group.
Founded in 1886 and based in Leeds, TLG had historically focused on direct mailing for the financial services industry but has since expanded into the retail sector and now offers a wide range of marketing services including data analytics, marketing strategy and digital media. Customers include Marks & Spencer, Sky and Tesco. In the 2013 financial year, TLG generated turnover of £20m and employs 200 staff.
The enlarged business will have an unrivalled hybrid digital and web offset printing platform with significant technological advantage over competitors and a compelling customer offering.
The enlarged Group’s turnover will reach almost £100m and it will employ 500 staff across its 3 sites. David McGolpin and Simon Cooper will remain in the TLG business as Joint Managing Directors and will continue to use their expertise to grow TLG as part of the larger group.
The acquisition comes following investment from BGF, the independent company established to help the UK’s growing businesses, of £10m in July 2013. BGF’s investment has provided the financial means for targeted acquisitions in the sector alongside the purchase of new state of the art printing presses, which will provide significant additional volume capacity and efficiency improvements to the group.
TLG represents the first acquisition that York Mailing has made using BGF capital.
Chris Ingram, Chief Executive Officer of York Mailing, commented:
“We have long admired TLG as a business given its outstanding client base and hybrid digital and web offset printing capabilities. It is a natural fit within the York Mailing business and we look forward to being able to offer customers an enhanced range of promotional printing services. This type of deal was a significant undertaking for us a management team and the financial backing and operational support provided by BGF has been invaluable.”
Richard Taylor, BGF, commented:
“This is a fantastic example of BGF’s capital being put to good use; an ambitious management team leading an expanding business but with a desire to grow that bit further and offer customers that bit more. When we started discussions with Chris and Mike prior to our investment, they flagged that this acquisition would be a significant part of the strategy and rationale behind taking equity investment and it is great to see the plan come to fruition.”
John Hornby, owner of TLG added:
“I am delighted that the York Mailing Group of companies has acquired The Lettershop Group and along with Simon and David, I think this is the perfect home for The Lettershop business. I firmly believe that being part of the UK’s most dynamic print provider offers a real opportunity for TLG to extend their leading technology to a broader customer base.”
Second bolt-on acquisition for Springfield
BGF portfolio company Springfield Homecare Services Ltd, part of Springfield Healthcare Group, has announced the acquisition of Helping Hand HCS Limited, based in Selby, North Yorkshire. Springfield Homecare is one of the largest independent providers of domiciliary care in Yorkshire, Humberside and the North East.
Helping Hands represents the second bolt-on acquisition for Springfield following on from the acquisition of Positive Life Choices (PLC), based in Newcastle, in March 2013.
Helping Hands was established in 2004 by the vendor, Denise Chester. The business has established itself as a key provider of domiciliary care services to both local authority and private clients in and around the Selby district.
The acquisition complements Springfield’s existing operations in East Leeds, York and Humberside providing services to an area not previously covered by Springfield. Helping Hands currently provides circa 650 hours of service and employs 30 staff. The acquisition also allows Springfield to enhance its service provision within the North Yorkshire County Council region as well as providing a foothold for consolidation, expansion and in-fill of provision around the South York and Selby regions.
Graeme Lee, founder and CEO of Springfield Healthcare commented:
“I am delighted to announce the acquisition of Helping Hands. This represents our second bolt-on acquisition since we received investment from Business Growth Fund (BGF) in June 2012 and demonstrates the effectiveness of our plan to expand into new regions and establish ourselves further as a main service provider in the Yorkshire, Humberside and the North East region. This acquisition gives us access to a new area within our focus region and provides us with a platform to grow and expand the volume and range of services we can offer.
“The BGF investment and along with support from our bankers, NatWest, have given us the capabilities to identify suitable opportunities, understand vendors’ requirements and invest quickly and professionally, all of which have been demonstrated with both the PLC and Helping Hands acquisitions.”
Unruly acquires social ad platform
Unruly pounce on $10 billion social video advertising opportunity
London and New York, 13 May 2013
Video technology company Unruly today announces it has acquired Shareifyoulike, the leading German platform for social video advertising. The acquisition combines Shareifyoulike’s portfolio of high quality media partners with Unruly’s global media footprint and proprietary technology, used by two-thirds of the Interbrand 100 and their agencies. Unruly’s international expansion has been rapid in order to meet growing demand from brands; the company now includes 11 offices worldwide, including five in the US.
With online video advertising the fastest growing category of ad spend in 2012 and predictions that global online video advertising spend will rise to $10 billion by 2015, the acquisition confirms Unruly’s position as the global market leader for social video marketing and supports its mission to deliver the most awesome social video campaigns on the planet.
“Demand for social video has reached a tipping point now that content marketing has established itself as a must-have marketing medium for every CMO’s strategic priorities and budget,” said Scott Button, co-founder and CEO at Unruly. “This acquisition not only accelerates our international growth but marks the start of consolidation in the market as social video technology is sitting high on the merger and acquisition agenda of large technology companies.”
Unruly’s market-first, multi-award winning innovations, such as Unruly ShareRank™, Unruly Analytics™ and its interactive app-based Social Video Player, helps agencies and brands to create contagious content and get their videos watched, tracked and shared across paid, owned and earned media.
“Unruly is a strong cultural and strategic fit for Shareifyoulike and will help us to leverage the market position we have built in Germany since 2010. Between us, we have delivered over 2,800 campaigns, with a total viewing time of over 979 years, perfectly positioning us to support leading brands and their agencies. Unruly’s data, technology and 360 degree product suite will help fuel our growth in this market and allow us to compete on the international stage,” said Martin Dräger, founder and CEO of Shareifyoulike, who will assume the role of Unruly Managing Director in Germany.
Bolt-on acquisition for Springfield
BGF backed Springfield Homecare Services Ltd, part of Springfield Healthcare Group, has completed the acquisition of Positive Life Choices (PLC), a domiciliary care business based in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Springfield Homecare is one of the largest independent providers of domiciliary care in Yorkshire and Humberside.
PLC represents the first acquisition that Springfield has made using BGF capital. Springfield financed the acquisition following two investments totaling £4.4 million, which were made by BGF in June 2012.
The deal will add approximately 2,000 hours of care to Springfield Homecare, which gives the business a new presence in the North East and strong relationships with a number of new local authorities. It also increases the number of employees in Springfield Homecare to over 800 and turnover of the overall Group to greater than £13 million per annum.
The acquisition will allow Springfield to submit a variety of local authority tenders to get approval onto new framework agreements and also offers the potential to expand PLC’s services into Durham, Sunderland, Stockton, Northumberland and other neighbouring areas.
Based in the outskirts of the city centre to the north east of Newcastle, PLC specialises in the provision of care services to individuals with learning disabilities (LD) and currently covers Newcastle, Gateshead and Darlington. PLC also provides care services to older people, those with physical disabilities, mental health problems and sensory impairments and works within the supported living, domiciliary and respite care sectors. The company was founded in 2007 by husband and wife team Ian and Amanda Dickinson and has grown steadily, employing 90 staff with a turnover of approximately £1 million per annum.
Of BGF’s total £4.4 million investment, £1.47 million has already been used to fund the development of The Grange Care Village in Seacroft, Leeds, which is expected to be completed in the autumn of 2013.
Graeme Lee, founder and CEO of Springfield Healthcare commented:
“I am delighted to announce our acquisition of Positive Life Choices. This marks the start of an exciting period of growth into the North East for Springfield Home Care, alongside its existing progress within Yorkshire and Humberside.
“BGF’s funding is enabling us to source similar excellent opportunities across Yorkshire and the North East where we can invest quickly, professionally and in alignment with existing management teams.”
Richard Taylor of BGF commented:
“We’d like to congratulate Graeme Lee and Amanda Dickinson on the completion of this acquisition, which is a significant milestone for Springfield’s growth plan.
“For businesses determined to grow quickly, a strategic acquisition can be a transformative moment. However buying another company requires deep pockets and the experience to integrate two organisations in a way that realises their combined potential. Some growing companies have the ambition to expand this way, but lack the means to do it.
“Funding also remains a major challenge for businesses with an acquisition target in mind – even if bank debt is available, it may not be the best way to finance the deal. In practice, equity capital is far less restrictive than bank debt, where the borrower is subsequently required to perform to very tightly defined criteria.
“BGF growth capital is well suited to supporting growth through acquisition and it is a key area where we can offer support to business owners.”
Workshare acquires IdeaPlane
BGF portfolio company Workshare, a leading provider of secure enterprise collaboration applications, yesterday announced exciting news that it had acquired IdeaPlane, an enterprise social network built specifically for highly regulated industries.
The deal will provide Workshare customers with a complete collaboration and communication solution by integrating IdeaPlane’s easy-to-use, secure and compliant social networking features into Workshare’s collaboration platform.
According to a recent report by McKinsey & Company, adopting social technologies offers companies the potential to improve productivity of highly skilled workers by 20-25% – and save billions of dollars from time lost on inefficient communications and information searches.
Built in partnership with one of the world’s largest investment banks and launched earlier this year, IdeaPlane’s customizable social networking platform can be rapidly and securely deployed across regulated organizations. IdeaPlane will enhance the Workshare platform with robust social networking features, including status updates; the promotion of important events, news and content; email notifications and the creation of open, closed and secret groups. Enterprise administration features allow companies to comprehensively manage and moderate the network.
The acquisition comes two months after BGF invested £7.25 million of growth capital in SkyDox alongside Scottish Equity Partners, management and other employee shareholders in September 2012 as part of a £20 million investment round. The capital raised enabled SkyDox to acquire Workshare.
Anthony Foy, CEO of Workshare, said:
“Our combined platform will allow organizations to monitor, manage and closely control the social network being used within their organizations while facilitating collaboration and the exchange of information and ideas.”
James Fabricant, founder and CEO IdeaPlane commented:
“This acquisition makes strategic sense for us given both companies’ focus on customers for whom security, compliance and control are paramount. We have a shared vision for the application of social tools in the enterprise and we have platforms that can be integrated into one unified solution to realize that vision.”