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NVM Private Equity sells Optilan to Blue Water Energy

NVM Private Equity has exited from Coventry-based telecommunications and security systems integration provider Optilan following a secondary management buy-out by Blue Water Energy, delivering a 3.1x return on funds invested.  

NVM first supported Optilan in the GBP18 million management buy-out in 2008.
Since then, under NVM’s ownership, Optilan has developed its technical capability and international footprint – opening operations in the Middle East, Azerbaijan, India and Turkey. It serves the energy, transport, infrastructure and industrial sectors. 
Despite challenging market conditions for the energy sector and political volatility in some of Optilan’s overseas markets, the business has grown strongly in the last three years, doubling profits over the period. The company’s expertise in integrated telecoms and security systems has allowed it to expand in developing markets in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
The company employs a team of 175 people in the UK, involved in the design, engineering and project management for delivery of telecommunications and security systems integration projects. A further 42 people are employed overseas installing and maintaining their systems around the world. 
This transaction is the sixth exit for NVM in the last 18 months.
Richard Buckland, CEO of Optilan, says: “James and NVM have proved to be outstanding investment partners. They have been incredibly supportive and have used their experience and network to help us develop the capability and reach of the business since the MBO, building value for all shareholders. It has been satisfying to see our collective effort reflected in the strong performance of the business in the last few years and we are now positioned for further growth. We are looking forward to working with Blue Water Energy as we move into the next phase of the company’s development.” 
James Arrowsmith, investment partner of NVM, says: “We have thoroughly enjoyed working with the talented team at Optilan and seeing the business develop into a leading global telecoms solutions provider following the original buy-out. The strategy of developing the business’s international footprint and technical capability has been highly successful, despite a challenging market backdrop, and we believe that Optilan can continue to grow from this point with the team and market presence that they now have. We wish management well as they work with Blue Water to continue building what is a highly successful Midlands business which exports British expertise around the world.” 

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