Newcastle-based Specialist Alarm Services Ltd (‘SAS’) is well positioned for its next stage of growth after receiving a significant investment to support its scale up strategies.
Lifco, a Swedish-based investment group, has signed an agreement to acquire the entire issued share capital of SAS, which designs, manufactures, supplies, installs and maintains specialist alarm systems, primarily for the healthcare sector.
The shares in the company, which was founded around 40 years ago, have been purchased from sole shareholder and technical director Daniel Eastwood who led a debt funded MBO of SAS in 2008.
SAS, which has extensive experience in providing critical communication and specialist alarm solutions for healthcare workers, patients and service users alike and has achieved significant growth over recent years, delivered a pre-tax profit in its 2021 financial year of c.£2m. The company currently has a workforce of 27.
Its core products are the Red Alert II staff attack system, which is a wearable device that allows staff to immediately raise an alarm, and the Network II Nurse system, which is a bedside device commonly used in care and residential home settings.
SAS’ alarms are used in the UK and around the world in healthcare facilities, which also includes secure units, psychiatric homes, acute hospitals, CAMHS units and medical & health centres. Its technology is also found in children’s homes, specialist schools, probation units and bail hostels.
Lifco, which invests in profitable, niche businesses, will support Daniel and the existing management team to further scale SAS as it aims to enter new markets and geographies with its British made products and extensive after-sales service and maintenance capabilities.
Advising Daniel Eastwood on the transaction was Newcastle-based RG Corporate Finance (RGCF), led by partner and head of corporate finance, Carl Swansbury and supported by corporate finance manager, Connor McBride and corporate finance executive, Adam Tindale. Business tax advice was provided by RG’s transactional tax partner Simon Whiteside and director Simon Hopwood.
Legal advice for Daniel Eastwood was provided by Ward Hadaway LLP led by corporate partner Tom Pollard and supported by solicitors Liam Stubbs and Jamie Guy. Additional tax and accountancy advice to SAS was provided by Tony Bullock of Armstrong Watson.
Lifco received financial and tax advice from BDO with legal advice from Walker Morris, led by partner Oliver Duke.
Daniel Eastwood, technical Director of specialist Alarm Services, said: “Having delivered continuous growth since the MBO 14 years ago we are in a position to scale the business further and with the support of Lifco we are confident that we can increase market share for our specialist, UK-manufactured alarm systems.
“We have a highly-skilled, experienced workforce, which are fundamental to the success of SAS, and we hope to increase our headcount as we expand the business further.”
Lorna Mendelsőhn, UK Acquisitions Director at Lifco, said: “We are keen to invest in dynamic, specialist businesses and SAS has broad capabilities in the design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of its technologies. It has established a strong niche in the growing healthcare market, which we are keen to support while also contributing to its ambitions to diversify its technologies into new sectors.”
Carl Swansbury, partner and head of corporate finance at RGCF, said: “This acquisition represents the continued appetite for overseas buyers to invest in quality British SMEs. UK companies that manufacture critical products and provide effective after-sales maintenance services, which gives rise to recurring revenues, are seeing an increase in demand following Brexit. SAS has achieved significant growth over recent years and this transaction with Lifco will see SAS continue to scale over the months and years ahead.”