The Bunker, which delivers mission critical cloud solutions via its ultra-secure data centres, was founded over 20 years ago and operates nationally from sites across the South of England. Palatine plan to use The Bunker as a buy and build platform to create a full service cyber security business. Several acquisitions to achieve this aim have already been identified.
The requirement for UK corporates to have in place higher security for highly sensitive data has seen demand for the Company’s services accelerate in recent years, specifically within the Fintech and wider Financial Services sectors. Current levels of sales activity within the business show this rate of growth will continue with the company set to benefit from market headwinds such as GDPR and an ever greater demand for cyber security services.
The Palatine team comprised of Partner Tony Dickin, Investment Director Andy Strickland and Investment Manager Rupert Brown.
Tony Dickin, Partner at Palatine Private Equity, said: "We look forward to working with the management team of The Bunker and Andy Hague in building on the excellent market position the Company has in the high security managed service sector, as well as developing its position in the wider cyber security space. As part of the value creation plan for the business we will look to deliver a buy and build strategy and we are currently in discussions with a number of parties we believe will provide exciting additional services to The Bunker. We believe the management team have built a fantastic business to date and that there is a currently a significant market opportunity to develop the business further"
Andy Hague, Group CEO, said: "This acquisition signals the first step in what I believe is a very exciting plan that I and the management team at The Bunker have been formulating in close partnership with Palatine in recent months. The Bunker offers truly unique facilities, and can rightly claim to provide the most physically secure Data Centres in the UK. With the wave of regulatory change in the market driving the need for ever increasing data security, we will be looking to build on the facilities in place today to add a full suite of cyber security products and services to the already strong security centric offering. Both the excellent existing management team and myself look forward to building something very special with Palatine acting as a valued and forward looking investor."
Palatine was advised by BDO, Gateley Plc and RSM with due diligence provided by CIL, Marsh and The Berkeley Partnership. Debt facilities were provided by European Capital and Santander.
TTC, founded in 2000 by Graham and Jenny Wynn, provides national speed awareness courses as well as a full suite of other driver training, compliance and education courses across the UK.
Having won its first police force contract in 2006, the company has since grown to work with 11 police forces across the country. TTC expanded its offering with the addition of cycling training courses which it introduced in 2013 following the acquisition of Cycle Experience, a provider of National Standard Cycling Courses.
The Telford-based business currently employs 123 staff and handles 330,000 clients annually across its 200 training venues in the UK. The investment from Palatine will help to build upon the strong foundation created by Graham and Jenny Wynn and will support TTC’s expansion into a number of areas, one of which is the development of the corporate driver training division. Founders, Graham and Jenny Wynn will retain an ongoing interest in the business.
The Palatine team comprised of Partner Tony Dickin, Investment Director Richard Thomas and Investment Executive James Painter. Richard Thomas, Head of Midlands at Palatine Private Equity, said: "We look forward to supporting TTC in continuing to deliver high quality training to its existing customers, in addition to, building upon its position in the corporate driver training market. Having already made a number of acquisitions, TTC’s buy and build strategy will be an important element of the on-going growth plan.
TTC is led by a talented management team with a robust business model to deliver significant growth over the coming years. This was a particularly attractive investment for Palatine given the strong public and political support for driver rehabilitation and increased road safety"
Jim Kirkwood, CEO at TTC, said: "I am delighted to be working with such a proactive and supportive investor in Palatine. The existing TTC business provides an excellent platform for growth and investment. With road safety at its heart and our quality of delivery second to none, our ambition to innovate and succeed is naturally taking us into complementary and adjacent markets where new technologies bring a wealth of opportunity. My colleagues and I are very excited about our future with Palatine and the opportunity that it presents"
Palatine was advised by Catalyst Corporate Finance, Gateley Plc and RSM with due diligence provided by Grant Thornton, Fairgrove Partners, Global Counsel, Marsh and The Berkeley Partnership. The vendors were advised by EY Corporate Finance with legal advice provided by Blake Morgan. Debt facilities were provided by Santander Corporate and Commercial Banking.
The private equity firm initially backed the Blackburn-based business in 2013 and has supported the management team through a successful buy and build strategy. It was the first investment from Palatine’s Fund II.
Founded in 2002, Chase Templeton is one of the UK’s leading PMI specialists. It operates from headquarters in Darwen, Lancashire and offices in Bridgwater, Somerset. The company has enjoyed rapid growth, completing more than 75 acquisitions and growing its annual premium income from approximately £90m to £150m in just four years.
Chase Templeton will now be supported by its new owner Nevada Investments, the US investment vehicle set up by HPS Investment Partners and Madison Dearborn Partners. The deal, which exchanged on 3 May 2017, has now received full regulatory approval. Nevada Investments will support Chase Templeton as it continues to acquire new targets.
Ed Fazakerely, partner at Palatine Private Equity and former board director at Chase Templeton, said: "The management team led by Warren Dickson have done a great job in implementing the buy and build strategy, which has led to the business becoming a leading player in the PMI marketplace. Chase Templeton is a fantastic example of a fast growing business from the North of England and we are confident that this level of growth will continue with support from Nevada."
Warren Dickson, chief executive officer at Chase Templeton, added: "Palatine has played an instrumental role in the extraordinary growth at Chase Templeton since investing in our business in 2013. With their much valued support we have in that time completed over 75 acquisitions, more than doubled our workforce and increased our annual premium income from £90m to £150m. Chase Templeton is now firmly established as one of the UK’s leading private medical insurance specialists."
Advisers to the shareholders included Deloitte (Olly Tebbutt, Simon Barrass and Myles Philips) Gateley plc (Rebecca Grisewood and Steve Roberts) and PwC (Jonathan Cooper and Syd Hussain).