Case Studies

Entrepreneurs Hub advises on the sale of Alerter Group to Sdiptech

by Malcolm Murray
Posted 2020

Type of business:
Emergency Communications System Provider

Location:
Derbyshire, UK

Sale Value:
Undisclosed 

Situation

Alerter Group are a multi-million pound, profitable, stable, and expanding company with thousands of customers across the UK and Ireland.

Over the last 25 years, the Group has developed and grown to be the market leader in providing emergency communication systems for disabled people. In depth industry knowledge and technical expertise enable Alerter Group to constantly be at the forefront of their sector.

The company initially specialised in the provision of fire alarm systems for deaf and hard of hearing people. More recently the product portfolio has expanded – to provide radio-based emergency disabled refuge systems, as well as other adaptable radio-based communication systems for potentially dangerous workplace situations. Alerter prides itself on developing products that help save lives, giving the same opportunity of escape to disabled people in the event of an emergency.

This is a fast-growing industry, driven by new technology and by increasing legislative standards in both new build and refurbishment. Recognising the potential to expand, Alerter Group CEO Steve Haseldine sought the help of Entrepreneurs Hub to find a buyer who could incorporate their offering into a wider organisation. He wanted the business to be able to evolve in new directions, reassured by the knowledge that Entrepreneurs Hub had experience in this sector.

Requirements

  • A greater understanding of how to capitalise on the needs of a growth market in new build and refurbishment
  • Identification of an organisation with the scope to take Alerter Group products and services to a wider international market by means of acquisition
  • A buyer with shared values of technical excellence and professionalism
  • Help with navigating every stage of the pre-sale and sale process, including valuation, marketing, due diligence, negotiation, and agreement of the final deal
  • An appropriate exit strategy for the major shareholders and their children
  • Maximising the sale value for the shareholders

Solutions

Entrepreneurs Hub Directors helped Alerter Group achieve a successful deal using the following process by the following means:

  • Provision of a tailored plan for exit following a ‘discovery day’ to learn about all facets of the business
  • Research and shortlisting of potential acquirers in the fire protection space
  • Construction of an Information Memorandum (IM), teaser letter and presentation to enhance acquirer interest in the business
  • Approach to approved targets anonymously, to develop interest
  • Securing a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) to enable the release of the Information Memorandum to targets approved by Alerter’s shareholders
  • Arranging and chairing meetings between a top Deal Director from Entrepreneurs Hub and interested buyers
  • Closely evaluating multiple offers to establish the preferable choice of buyer, which led to further negotiations to maximise those offers
  • Agreeing Heads of Terms
  • Managing the sophisticated financial and legal requirements common to an international buyer
  • Finalising a transaction with Sdiptech, an international company specialising in the infrastructure sector and offering high quality technologies, solutions and services

Results

  • A successful sale at a market price
  • A strategic sale. Sdiptech AB has a strong presence throughout Western Europe, and was already active in the UK
  • Substantial new opportunities for Alerter Group products on the international market, realising the potential of their technology and expertise
  • Enhanced profile and portfolio for Sdiptech AB. Recent investment by them in UK companies has stimulated their quest to create sustainable, efficient and safe societies.
  • An effective alignment of corporate values 

Testimonials

Jakob Holm, CEO of Sdiptech

“We are delighted to welcome Alerter Group to Sdiptech. By using their unique radio-based systems, that send out emergency messages and communications, their products give disabled people the same opportunities to get out of a building as everyone else – and by doing so, they can save lives. We look forward to continuing to develop the company together with the Haseldine family and the entire team at Alerter Group. High quality and reliable fire alarm systems are essential for societies today.”

The Team

Andrew Shepperd, Director and Co-founder

Andrew is a successful entrepreneur, mentor and lecturer. He is highly experienced in both buy and sell-side transactions, including Intellectual Property focused sales. He oversees the Entrepreneurs Hub deal-making team and has first-hand knowledge of post-acquisition integration as well as selling and acquiring businesses. Andrew has over three decades’ commercial leadership experience.

  • Former MD of Avaya and Azlan and main board member of TechData UK
  • Lecturer on M&A and Investment, and Advisory Board Member of the Imperial College London Global MBA and Entrepreneurship MSc programme
  • Mentor to M12, Microsoft Ventures’ Accelerator and to the Swiss Embassy in London
  • Has coached over 100 organisational leaders on communication strategy, turnaround, profit & revenue growth, and business operations, including not-for-profit organisations such as Buckinghamshire County Council and the UK National Police College
  • Leader of 5 organisational turnarounds for Nasdaq and NYSE quoted companies

Tim Allaston, Director 

Tim has a vast range of expertise that he has fine-tuned during his 30-year career to date. He brings the extensive knowledge he’s accrued to the Entrepreneur’s Hub team, helping businesses of all types discover how they can prepare for – and achieve – their most successful sale. His experience spans from IT to professional services, big data & data analytics to utilities. It also includes significant engagement with social networking, beauty, leisure, construction, and engineering!

  • Instrumental in the strategic growth of many start-ups, MBOs and high-profile companies
  • Skilled in consulting from both a commercial and operational perspective
  • Previously part of the founding team that built a large IT Services business, later acquired by a significant IT distributor and services company
  • Highly adept negotiator with proven techniques that achieve the best price and terms for clients
  • An agile networker and Entrepreneurs Hub seminar contributor
Quote Icon
We were really pleased with the way in which Andrew and his team at Entrepreneurs Hub, steered us through the sales process and found an acquirer who had a similar caring outlook with regards equality for people with disabilities. We look forward to the increased penetration of Alerter Group products in both the UK and European markets.
Steve Haseldine
CEO Alerter Group

Related

Entrepreneurs Hub team were fantastic. They put in a tremendous amount of effort throughout the process but especially towards the end once we had interest from a few parties, several of whom were overseas, Andrew was putting in long phone calls late into the night as he negotiated on our behalf to get the best possible terms. Once we accepted an offer, things intensified even more as we went through due diligence and were still negotiating details of the financials. Entrepreneurs Hub were there guiding us throughout the process and I really felt we were working together as a team. We could never had sold the business without their help. Even the company that bought us and had experience of several previous acquisitions complemented us on how professional and organised and easy to deal with our advisers were that made the whole process very smooth
Rolf Howarth
Founder & CTO Square Box Systems Ltd
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We entered this process with no prior experience so the support we got from Entrepreneurs Hub was invaluable. Exiting your business can be a tough road so we needed their knowledgeable advisors alongside us to overcome challenges, knock backs, and get through prolonged negotiations and uncertain circumstances to get the deal over the line. “Our advice to another business owner selling a company would be to find an advisor you trust, with business experience - not just a broker. Entrepreneurs Hub had our company’s best interests at heart throughout the whole process of selling our business for optimum value – and preparing it for that sale. They really understood our company and our future goals. “With their vast network of contacts, we found an overseas buyer that we never would have known about otherwise - one we felt proud to sell our business to. We’ve been rewarded, our business and staff are secure and we are on our countdown to retirement now. Very happy!
Noel Sheppard
Founder of Distec Ltd
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I am excited about being part of a larger group which will provide support and cross selling opportunities. This is a positive development for the company and our employees to be part of a leading and very successful multidisciplinary engineering and environmental consultancy and provider of technical support services.
Chris Miller-Hanna
CEO PA Group UK Ltd
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