Insights

PKF Supports Fortus with A Trio of Acquisitions

Fortus Group, the Irish-founded security solutions distributor and remote monitoring business, has ambitious plans for continued expansion in the UK and Europe after completing a trio of strategic acquisitions with fresh backing from AIB Equity Capital.

AIB has invested €14.5 million (£12.7 million) in the Dublin-headquartered group, which has assisted in the financing of the acquisitions of The Electric Gate Shop, Specialized Security Products and Red Rhino Monitoring.

A PKF team led by David Lucas and Jack Swinburne in Dublin and Sam Phillips in Bristol carried out financial and tax due diligence for AIB and Fortus.

AIB’s investment in Fortus marks the end of a very successful three-year partnership with Rockpool Investments, who exited as part of the transaction, generating a return of 2.5x for their investor base.

Fortus chief executive Mark Brophy said:

“This was a terrific deal to get closed and it was great working with the combined PKF team in the UK and Ireland once again. The combined transactions bring the Fortus Group to revenues of €115 million (£100 million) and we are not finished here. 

“We look forward to working with PKF again as we continue to grow in the UK and Ireland and now into mainland Europe with the backing of AIB. I’d like to thank David, Jack, Sam, Shane and teams for their support on these transactions and hope everyone has a well-deserved peaceful Christmas.”

David Lucas, corporate finance partner at PKF O’Connor, Leddy & Holmes, commented:

“We are delighted to assist AIB Equity on their investment into the Fortus Group. This was a great combined effort of PKF UK & Ireland to deliver this outcome. I’d like to wish Mark, Brian and the entire Fortus team every success in the future.”

Sam Phillips, transaction services director at PKF Francis Clark, said:

“Having previously advised Fortus on its acquisition of Enterprise Security Distribution, we were pleased to work closely with our PKF colleagues in Ireland to support the group’s continued expansion with the backing of AIB. This was a complex project involving a number of stakeholders and a great team effort.

“Fortus has grown rapidly in recent years through bolt-on acquisitions, and part of our task was to help AIB understand the underlying, sustainable profit growth of the business. These latest acquisitions will enable Fortus to diversify its product offering while benefiting from increased buying power.”

PKF’s team also comprised Jack Swinburne, Conor O’Rourke and Tom Kenny in Ireland and Tom Slade, Adam Kefford and Callum West in South West England. Shane O’Donovan and Eoin Kenny assisted from a tax structuring perspective.

Founded by executive chairman Brian Honan, Fortus has grown its revenues from €16 million to €100 million over the past five years. Employing 250 people across the UK and Ireland, the group supplies installers of CCTV, intruder detection and alarms, access control, fire safety, gate automation and remote monitoring systems.

Specialized Security Products is a market leader in the field of access control and gate automation, based in Buntingford, Hertfordshire. The Electric Gate Shop is another market-leading specialised gate automation distributor based in Dearne Valley, Rotherham. Red Rhino Monitoring is a CCTV monitoring business based in Cheshire.

Mr. Brophy added;

“We are delighted to welcome Specialized Security Products, The Electric Gate Shop and Red Rhino Monitoring into the Fortus Group. These acquisitions herald the entrance of Fortus into the gate automation sector and furthermore represent a development of our competency in the access control sector. Red Rhino allows us to grow our CCTV monitoring business further, which is a key strategic goal of the group. We believe these acquisitions will help us better serve our valued customers, who are the lifeblood of Fortus.”

The PKF International network is made up of 220 independent accountancy firms in 150 countries. More information can be found at pkf.com.