Cennox, a portfolio company of York Capital Management’s private equity group (York Private Equity), has acquired FireKing Safety and Security (FireKing), a US-based financial safe and services business previously owned by Pfingsten Partners.
The deal enables Cennox to enter the traditional and smart safe manufacturing business, and further expands its deployment and maintenance services across FireKing’s 1,000-plus customers. Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.
Founded in 2006, Cennox provides integrated services and solutions to the financial services, commercial, retail, and transportation industries. Following this transaction, the Company’s global operations will span 1,700 employees across the US, UK, and mainland-Europe. Since its founding, Cennox has scaled through 17 acquisitions and delivered consistent organic growth. The FireKing transaction is the 5th completed acquisition in the past 12 months, a year which has seen Cennox nearly triple in size and further realise their expansion plans to support their growth and diversification strategy.
FireKing Safety and Security, which will be rebranded as Cennox effective January 1, 2022, has deployed approximately 300,000 traditional and smart safes principally across the US. FireKing’s customers include retail operations (such as grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies and fast food restaurants), cash-in-transit companies, as well as financial institutions. The combined business will serve nearly 2,000 retail, financial services and other customers, and will manage 400,000+ cash automation machines, safes, kiosks and EV charging stations globally.
“We are pleased to add FireKing to the Cennox family as we further expand our operations across the United States, execute on our strategic M&A pipeline and build on the Company’s extensive service offerings for our clients,” says Clive Nation, Founder and CEO of Cennox. “Today, Cennox is regarded as a provider of choice by many major institutions, and is valued for its deep industry expertise, consistent high-quality service, and increasing breadth of solutions. We welcome FireKing’s talented team and proven business model to Cennox as we continue to identify attractive areas for growth in the US.”
Nick Cockett, COO of Cennox, says: “The Cennox acquisition of FireKing provides a compelling addition to our established reputation as a provider of integrated products and services. We believe the FireKing portfolio of safes to be the perfect fit, not only for the day-to-day support of customers seeking a traditional or smart safe, but also for customers seeking a partner able to offer a full suite of products and outsourced services for their business.”
Cennox was the third platform investment completed by York Capital’s middle-market private equity fund, York Special Opportunities Fund III, an USD800 million dedicated fund raised in April 2020. York completed the Cennox transaction in May 2021. York Private Equity seeks to partner with founders and entrepreneurs to help facilitate and support organic and inorganic growth in industries such as financial and business services, healthcare services, consumer/retail and industrials.
“We were confident that Cennox was poised for rapid growth, in particular as a proven M&A platform, when we partnered with Clive Nation, Nick Cockett and Roy Dodd in May of this year,” says Harish Nataraj, Managing Director at York Capital. “We are excited by the pace of expansion having completed three acquisitions in the last six months and nearly tripling the size of the business to USD250-plus million in revenue. We continue to execute on a robust M&A pipeline which will continue to expand our product, service and geographic capabilities.”
WhiteHorse Capital provided debt financing for the transaction in support of the overall M&A strategy. Duff & Phelps, A Kroll Business, acted as the buyside investment banking advisor and Goodwin Procter LLP served as legal counsel to Cennox and York Capital in the acquisition of FireKing. TM Capital served as the sellside advisor to FireKing.