Browne Jacobson’s corporate lawyers advise NorthEdge and Orbis Protect on growth fund investment

Michael Stace

Michael Stace

Private equity firm NorthEdge has sold a majority stake in Orbis Protect (Orbis), a provider of critical security services to the UK vacant property sector, for an undisclosed sum to growth investor Synova.

Browne Jacobson’s corporate finance team advised NorthEdge and Orbis on the transaction.

The transaction will support the further growth plans of Birmingham-based Orbis. The business which was set up in 1981 specialises in the provision of property, site and personal protection services to its national client base which includes Tesco and Aviva.

NorthEdge originally partnered with Orbis in 2018 and supported the delivery of its technology and people strategies. In that time, Orbis has significantly grown its revenue streams, broadened its tech capabilities through its acquisition of Optosafe, a 360-degree CCTV tower provider, and grown its leadership team with various key appointments.

NorthEdge and Synova will both continue to help drive the further growth of the Orbis business through further investment in its product and service offering to its UK client base and expanding into the European market.

The Browne Jacobson team which was led by corporate finance partner, Michael Stace, comprised partner Gareth Davies (corporate); associate, Matt Dorman (corporate); senior associate, Clare Hannah (corporate); associate, Kurt Davies (commercial); partner, Susan Voice (real estate); associate, Jennifer Jenkins (employment); partner, Andrew Noble (tax); senior associate, Rebecca Hawkins (tax); senior associate, Chereta Edmeade (banking) and associate, Beth Nixon (banking).

Kevin O’Loughlin, Investment Director at NorthEdge, said: “It has been great working alongside Guy and Ben over the last three years. They understand how to run a business well, recognise the importance of their people, and have consistently traded ahead of plan. They, alongside the rest of the management team, have worked incredibly hard and I’m looking forward to seeing the business continue to grow over the coming years.”

Ben Howard, CEO of Orbis, said: “We have worked with Michael and the team on a number of previous transactions and the value that they delivered this time was as exceptional as always. Their ability to cut through complexity and bring a high degree of clarity and pragmatism was acknowledged and appreciated by all. The confidence that I have in them cannot be overstated and enabled everyone to achieve a highly successful outcome.”

Michael added: “Having acted for NorthEdge on its original investment in Orbis, and on the acquisition of Optosafe, it was a pleasure to work with them and the Orbis team on this strategic investment. Synova will be a great addition to the Orbis business and will no doubt work seamlessly with NorthEdge to really bolster the Orbis brand. We wish them all every success in this next exciting part of their journey.”

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