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NorthEdge and Synova invest in Orbis Protect to fund next phase of growth

NorthEdge has sold a majority stake in Orbis Protect (Orbis), a leading provider of critical security services to the UK vacant property sector, to growth investor Synova.

The deal delivers a strong return for the lower mid-market private equity specialist and includes a material reinvestment into Orbis from NorthEdge’s Fund II alongside Synova.
NorthEdge invested in Orbis in August 2018. During the partnership, Orbis has grown revenues at a CAGR of 17 per cent, added to its technology capabilities through the acquisition of Optosafe, a 360-degree CCTV tower provider, and increased employee engagement. Orbis also ranked eighth in the Sunday Times’ Profit Track for the first time in 2020.
NorthEdge initially backed Guy Other and Ben Howard to support Orbis to deliver its technology and people strategies. Since 2018, the business has strengthened its leadership team with Finance Director Navjot Rayet, Sales Director Laura Pearson and Operations Director Paul Stubbs, has launched seven new services to support its customers, and delivered a number of operational efficiencies. The leadership team will be further strengthened with the addition of Stuart Owens who joins Orbis as CFO in July.
Synova and NorthEdge’s investment will see both investors continue to support Orbis’ growth, organically and through acquisition, focusing on increasing the business’ products, services and technology solutions, broadening its addressable market and potential European expansion.
Kevin O’Loughlin, Investment Director at NorthEdge, says: “It has been great working alongside Guy and Ben over the last three years. They understand how to run a business well, recognise the importance of their people, and have consistently traded ahead of plan. They, alongside the rest of the management team, have worked incredibly hard and I’m looking forward to seeing the business continue to grow over the coming years.
“With significant future growth prospects, both organic and through strategic acquisitions, finding the right investor was critical for Orbis. Synova’s experience means they are the ideal partner to support the business on its next phase of growth and we are excited to remain part of the journey.”
Ben Howard, CEO at Orbis, adds: “We’re looking forward to the next step on our growth journey with Synova and NorthEdge. Their support provides us with a fantastic opportunity to invest more into new technology, products and services, building on the great progress we have made in the last three years and allowing us to continue providing the best experiences for our customers and colleagues.”
Alex Bowden, Partner at Synova, says: “We are delighted to be partnering with the team at Orbis, as well as NorthEdge. The business has an enviable position in the UK marketplace, providing exceptional quality and service delivery to its client base. We look forward to supporting Ben and the wider management team with the continued investment in people, technology and delivery of an ambitious M&A strategy”.
NorthEdge and Orbis were advised by Darren Boocock, Deloitte (Corporate Finance); Anil Gupta, Deloitte (Debt Advisory); Michael Stace, Browne Jacobson LLP (Legal); Dominic Miles, LEK Consulting (Commercial Due Diligence) and Simon White, PWC (Financial Due Diligence).
Synova was advised by KPMG (Corporate Finance) and Proskauer Rose LLP (Legal).
Ardian provided debt facilities to support the transaction.
Management was advised by James Trevis, Eversheds (Legal).

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