Datong plc / Seven Technologies
Cavendish Corporate Finance is pleased to announce that it has successfully advised on the £7.3 million public to private sale of spyware and intelligence solutions leader Datong plc to Seven Technologies Holdings, an engineering business specialising in the manufacture of communication applications for operation in inhospitable environments.
The deal creates a £20 million annual turnover company, which will be one of the strongest independent players in the sector, with an enhanced capability to develop next-generation solutions for its increasingly global client base.
Datong has for over 30 years specialised in providing a range of covert surveillance, tracking and location systems to defence, security and law enforcement agencies worldwide and its robust family of products and systems are designed to provide reliable, uncompromising intelligence in the most challenging operational environments.
The type, size, technology, methods and intensity of both terrorist and crime organisations, their activities and arenas, are constantly shifting and posing new threats. Datong’s products and solutions help police and security agencies to gather early intelligence so that they can identify and anticipate threats and illegal activity and act to thwart them.
Headquartered in Leeds, Datong also has offices in the US and Malaysia and a range of security clients spanning over 30 countries, which the company helps ensure maintain a technology advantage over their increasingly sophisticated and determined adversaries.
Seven Technologies Holdings is the parent company of Northern Ireland-based Seven Technologies Limited (STL), which has been trading since 2005. Last year YFM Equity Partners, a specialist SME fund manager, paid £6.6 million to take a stake in Seven to help SLT’s growth and development.
Both sets of management believe that the two businesses are an excellent fit and that there is a strong commercial and cultural affinity between Datong and Seven, in terms of their strategies, products and service offerings.
Combining the two businesses creates a larger and stronger group within the specialist intelligence technology sector, which will benefit from additional scale and a wider customer base. It will also enable the enlarged company to tender for larger projects and cross-sell products from each group into the other’s markets as well as providing a stronger platform for further international expansion.
The deal was led by Cavendish partner Joe Stelzer and director John Farrugia, with support on Takeover Panel and public company matters by Cavendish partner Jonathan Buxton.
The transaction is the latest in a number of public to private transactions advised on by Cavendish, including the sale of Liberty PLC to Blue Gem Capital Partners and Focus Solutions Group plc to Standard Life plc.
John Farrugia, who led the transaction for Cavendish Corporate Finance, commented:
“Global threats from terrorist and international crime organizations are constantly changing and this deal will help the enlarged group deliver enhanced intelligence solutions for its broad range of clients to address these evolving challenges and assist it in capitalising on the opportunities these trends present. The Group’s products and systems are world-leading and are increasingly being used by defence and law enforcement agencies worldwide for their security and surveillance needs.
“The finnCap Cavendish team were exceptional from start to finish on our deal, helping us to prepare meticulously for the process, identifying a group of highly strategic buyers and negotiating a fantastic deal for our Shareholders. We would thoroughly recommend them to any owners considering an exit.”
“Thank you to John and your fantastic team at FinnCap Cavendish for your unwavering support, dedication, work ethic and belief in Xexec’s mission. John, Mike and Sam were instrumental in bringing the deal to a successful completion and provided invaluable guidance throughout the process.
We look forward to our new partnership with the Castik and Abry teams who are the ideal partners as we continue to expand our business and pursue the next phase of our strategy.”
‘The finnCapCavendish team were great to work with, they took time to listen, properly understand our objectives and tailored the process to get a fantastic result for us. They really understood the value drivers in the ICT sector and had access to all the key buyers for our business, they were able to efficiently manage the sale process maintaining the great relationship we’d built we Adept as our preferred buyer.’
“Thank you to Jon, Steph and Chirag for their tireless efforts in recent months. Jon offered invaluable leadership and strategic advice, while Chirag and Steph provided diligent and supportive guidance throughout. They also behaved throughout as one would expect friends and confidants to act, which is very helpful in a confidential situation. We were delighted with the result and very, very pleased to have had the three of them as our team.”
“Cavendish understood our ambitions from day one and went to great lengths to understand the minutiae of the business in order to effectively position the investment proposition as it evolved throughout the transaction. Cavendish were not just an advisor but a true partner to the Systal team throughout the process all the way through to completion.”
“The Cavendish team of Jon, Chris, Chirag and Soben steered the process from start to finish and were instrumental in bringing this transaction to a successful conclusion with the right partner in the form of Naviga. The sale of Miles 33 to Naviga marked a successful exit for the financial investors and provides management with a larger platform to grow the business.”
“We are delighted to have secured this transformational funding. The open market does not serve everyone and the funding enables us to provide a choice to many more sellers. We would also like to thank Jon, Ben, Steph for their efforts – they provided invaluable advice and hands-on support throughout the process, providing us with a trusted advisor that saw the transaction through to completion.”
In Thomson Reuters, we found a strategic buyer that shares our commitment to the rule of law. We have a proven track record of enabling the courts’ digital transformation of the UK. We are optimistic that with Thomson Reuters global footprint we will be able to help courts around the world to continue to operate effectively and efficiently into the future.
We’d also like to place on record a huge thank you to Jon, Sam and the Cavendish team. From identifying Pelican Capital through to providing advice and support throughout the due diligence process, Cavendish deserve a great deal of credit for delivering the fundraise in an exceptionally challenging environment.
“On behalf of the shareholders, we’d like to thank Cavendish for their advice, tireless work ethic and professionalism throughout the process. Jon, Mike and the team were instrumental in achieving a fantastic result for both the shareholders and the company, as we embark on our exciting next phase of growth with a new investor. We knew we had chosen the right partner in Cavendish and you did not let us down.”
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