Independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager Foresight Group has made a £4.5 million investment into iMist Holdings, a manufacturer and installer of water mist fire protection systems for homes and residential buildings which is headquartered in Hull.
Founded in 2015 by managing director Tony Sims who has over 20 years’ engineering experience, iMist has developed its own range of high-pressure water mist fire suppression systems, specifically for domestic and larger residential properties. Its proprietary solution offers a number of benefits over traditional fire sprinkler and lower pressure water mist products including more efficient use of water, ease of installation and cost effectiveness.
The investment supports Foresight’s impact theme of investing in sustainable local infrastructure. As well as supporting changes in UK building regulations which is driving demand for innovative fire suppression solutions, the technology is also substantially more environmentally friendly, reducing the amount of water required compared to traditional sprinkler systems by c.88%, whilst still providing appropriate protection from fire and damage by excess water.
Foresight’s investment will drive further growth and development activities across the UK, on the back of the current regulatory opportunity. iMist will expand operations in Scotland, and open two new branches in the North West and Wales to accelerate residential opportunities nationally. iMist will seek to progress product approvals to enable US market entry in 2021, with North America representing a particularly large market opportunity.
Advisers to Foresight included a team from Leeds law firm Clarion Solicitors, led by Jonathan Simms and including Laurie Dale and Hannah Nelson; as well as James Cowper Kreston (financial due diligence); RW Blears (legal due diligence) and Catalysis (management due diligence).
Tony Sims, managing director of iMist, said: “It gives me great pleasure to announce that iMist has now partnered with Foresight to take the business to the next level. Foresight’s experience of supporting sustainable businesses enabled this to be a seamless process. The partnership will allow iMist to grow and invest further in environmentally friendly fire suppression systems for legislative markets across the Globe. 2021 will mark the start of this journey and the team could not be more excited for the future.”
Francesca Dickinson, investment manager at Foresight, added: “We are delighted to support Tony and the wider team at iMist as they target a significant market opportunity. We are impressed by the business’ growth since inception and look forward to working with the team going forward.”
Jonathan Simms of Clarion adds: “The investment marks another important chapter in the growth of this successful and innovative Hull-based business. We wish them every success with their expansion plans.