Marwyn has established acquisition vehicles with industry-leading managers in a diverse range of sectors
AdvancedAdvT Limited is an acquisition vehicle listed on the standard segment of the London Stock Exchange (launched as Marwyn Acquisition Company I in December 2020). The Company is led by Chairman Vin Murria OBE, who previously founded and was CEO of Advanced Computer Software Group plc (2008-2015). The Company raised £130 million through a fundraising in March 2021 with the support of leading institutional investors to pursue its stated investment strategy of seeking mid-cap acquisition opportunities in the software sector. In August 2023, the company announced the acquisition of five software businesses from Capita plc for a combined EV of approximately £33m in cash.
Advanced Computer Software PLC, an acquisition vehicle led by Vin Murria, acquired its platform asset, Adastra Software, a medical practice management software business, for £12.2 million in 2008. Under Vin’s leadership Advanced Computer Software expanded beyond the Health sector into adjacent complimentary verticals and completed 13 further strategic acquisitions, growing EBITDA from £1.8 million at acquisition to £48.5 million in 2014. Advanced Computer Software was acquired by Vista Equity Partners in 2015 for an enterprise value of £750 million.
BCA Marketplace PLC, an acquisition vehicle led by Avril Palmer Baunack, was launched in 2014 focused on the European automotive services sector. BCA Marketplace acquired its platform asset, British Car Auctions Limited for £1.2 billion in 2015 from Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. Alongside, significant operational improvements, the company also broadened its business proposition through five bolt-on acquisitions and significant investment in its digital assets including WeBuyAnyCar.com to expand from its traditional auction business to deliver a broad range of services to the UK and European automotive industry, growing EBITDA from £82 million at acquisition to £172 million in 2019. BCA Marketplace was acquired by TDR Capital in 2019 for £2.1 billion.
Breedon Aggregates Limited (“Breedon Aggregates”), an acquisition vehicle led by Peter Tom and Simon Vivian, was initially launched in 2008 to consolidate businesses in the UK building materials and aggregates sector. Breedon Aggregates acquired its platform asset, the former UK assets of Ennstone plc, for £160 million in 2010 from a consortium of UK & Irish banks, including Barclays PLC, before making a further 12 acquisitions throughout the UK and Ireland, consolidating the smaller end of the heavy aggregates market, expanding its network of quarries, asphalt and concrete plants and securing over 900m tonnes of mineral reserves. Breedon Aggregates continues to go from strength to strength and remains listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Testing & Inspection
Concateno PLC was launched with Chairman Keith Tozzi to acquire businesses in the medical testing market. In 2008 it acquired Medscreen in partnership with the incumbent CEO Fiona Begley for £30 million from Bowmark Capital. Concateno completed six add-on acquisitions to expand its geographic coverage and product offering, creating a European leader in the drug and alcohol testing services incorporating global sample collection and laboratory analysis to a range of public and private sector clients globally. Concateno was acquired by Inverness Medical/Alere in 2009 for £155 million in a cash and share deal and is currently part of Abbott Laboratories.
Entertainment One Limited, an acquisition vehicle led by CEO Darren Throop, was established to focus on the consolidation of international film, music and television rights. The vehicle launched in 2007 with the acquisition of Canadian Income Trust for £97 million. Under Darren’s leadership, Entertainment One was transformed from a Canadian wholesale distributor of entertainment products through 19 acquisitions, into a leading global owner, producer and distributor of film and TV content (including the development of the hugely successful Peppa Pig franchise), growing EBITDA from £11 million at acquisition to £198 million in 2019. Entertainment One was acquired in 2019 by Hasbro Inc, for £3.3 billion.
Testing & Inspection
Inspicio Holdings Limited, an acquisition vehicle led by Keith Tozzi and Mark Silver, was launched in 2005 focused on the international testing, inspection, and performance conformity markets. Inspicio acquired its platform asset, Inspectorate Limited, the testing and inspection arm of British Standards Institute, for £52 million later in 2005. Keith and Mark lead a turnaround of the business with a focus on margin improvement followed by an acquisition-led expansion acquiring six companies to grow its geographic footprint and consolidate its leadership in the global testing of Oil & Gas and Metals & Minerals, growing EBITDA from £3 million at acquisition to £30 million in 2008. Inspicio was acquired by 3i in 2008 for £270 million.
Le Chameau was acquired in 2012 through Silvercloud Management Holdings plc, a vehicle established to pursue the acquisition of one or more operating companies in the luxury goods sector. Le Chameau is a heritage footwear brand specialising in the production of handmade rubber boots and other outdoor footwear, established in 1927. In 2019 the business entered into a joint venture and operating partnership with Bradshaw Taylor, the global distributor of Schöffel Country, and has since delivered strong revenue growth both with retail partners and through its direct to consumer e-commerce site, while transforming the cost base and profitability of the business. Led by CEO Corry Cavell-Taylor and building on this positive momentum, Le Chameau is now expanding its production capacity to meet growing demand in its core markets and an increasing presence in new markets.
Acquisition Vehicle - Financial Services, Consumer and Technology Sectors
MAC II is an acquisition vehicle listed on the standard segment of the London Stock Exchange. The vehicle is led by Chairman Mark Hodges, who was previously CEO of ReAssure, prior to which he held senior executive plc board positions at a number of large financial services and consumer businesses including Centrica, Towergate and Aviva. MAC II has a stated investment strategy of seeking acquisition opportunities in the financial services, consumer and technology sectors.
Melorio Plc, an acquisition vehicle led by Arian Carey, was launched in 2007 to acquire businesses in the government-funded environment for vocational training. The company acquired Construction Learning World for £35 million in 2007 as a platform for training in Construction, Logistics and Energy and expanded into the IT and Healthcare sectors with the acquisition of Zenos for £31.8 million in 2008 growing EBITDA from £5.5 million to £16.5 million in 2010. Melorio was acquired by Pearson plc in 2010 for £113 million.
Private Capital Servicing
Palmer Street Limited was established in May 2023 and has been set up to take advantage of the opportunity to provide a differentiated business proposition in the private capital servicing sector. Palmer’s management team: Martin Schnaier, James Ireland, James Bermingham, Jason Bingham and Phil Godley have all previously worked in senior leadership roles at FTSE 250 company, Sanne Group plc, that was taken private by Apex Group for £1.5 billion, with the transaction completing in August 2022. Palmer is expected to become an operational business in 2024 reflecting the time for regulatory approvals and compliance with non-compete undertakings.
Talarius Limited, an acquisition vehicle led by Nick Harding, was launched in 2005 to focus on the high street gaming market. Talarius acquired its platform asset, RAL (Rank Amusements Ltd) Holdings for £39 million from PPM Ventures in 2005. Alongside significant operational improvements, the business benefitted from a favourable and changing regulatory environment and consolidated 25% of the UK amusement arcades through the completion of five acquisitions, growing EBITDA from £5 million at acquisition to £18 million in 2007. Talarius was acquired by a joint venture bid-co owned by Macquarie Bank and Tattersalls in 2008 for £158 million.
Zegona Communications PLC (“Zegona”), an acquisition vehicle led by Eamonn O’Hare and Robert Samuelson, acquired its platform asset, Telecable for €640 million in 2015. Zegona sold Telecable in 2017, receiving stock consideration in Euskaltel, a leading regional telecommunication provider in Spain. Zegona was the largest shareholder in Euskaltel and worked alongside the Euskaltel board to refresh the management team, drive improvements in the core business and roll-out a national expansion programme. Euskaltel was acquired by Masmovil for an EV of €3.5bn in August 2021, following which Zegona returned £335m to shareholders. Zegona continues to pursue further buy-fix-sell opportunities in the European Telecoms sector.
Zetar, an acquisition vehicle led by former Perkins Food PLC executive Ian Blackburn, was launched to acquire and invest in businesses within the confectionery and snack foods markets. In 2006 Zetar acquired Kinnerton Confectionery, a leading producer of nut free chocolate confectionery in the UK for £32.2 million and built upon this platform with five bolt-onacquisitions successfully expanding its product range into licenced brand and healthier snacks for the EU grocery market. Zetar was acquired by Zertus in 2012 for £55 million.
Acquisition Vehicle - Content, Media and Technology Sectors
450 Plc is a London Stock Exchange AIM listed acquisition vehicle aiming to make one or more acquisitions of controlling or non-controlling stakes within the traditional and digital creative industries encompassing the content, media and technology sectors. The company is led by Chair Waheed Alli, who has over 30 years’ experience across media, retail, entertainment and technology sectors, having launched and grown a number of highly successful private and public businesses in his career. Waheed co-founded Planet 24, Shine and Silvergate Media and was previously Chair of Chorion plc (2003-06) and ASOS plc (2001-12).