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Winchester-based firm Azets Corporate Finance advises on sale

By Karolina Skinner
29 April 2021

Winchester-based Azets Corporate Finance and law firm Blake Morgan have advised on the sale of Esotec to ADT Fire & Security Group, a subsidiary of Johnson Controls International, for an undisclosed amount.

Rob Holmes - partner at Azets Corporate Finance.

Esotec is a systems integrator of full-lifecycle security solutions. Its services include the design, installation and support of advanced surveillance and security capabilities. By combining best-of-breed systems and rigorous project management, Esotec delivers turn-key solutions into secure government, national heritage, public spaces and other high-profile locations.

Esotec employs 32 members of staff from its main site in Didcot, Oxfordshire. The former shareholders, Andy Durham and Dave Oliver, will both continue to manage the business on an ongoing basis with the support of their existing dedicated and experienced engineering and delivery team.

ADT Fire & Security provides installation, rental, maintenance and monitoring of electronic security systems and associated building management systems for both commercial and residential applications. ADT Fire & Security is a subsidiary of Johnson Controls International, a US company listed on the New York Stock Exchange with annual sales of in excess of $22 billion.

“Esotec is an excellent business with strong customer relationships and a deep understanding of the high-security domain,” said Richard Jones, general manager, Fire & Security at Johnson Controls UK&I. “The company will be an asset to our UK security business, and we look forward to welcoming the team’s expertise, which will help us further improve our electronic security capabilities in networked intrusion, CCTV and access control.”

Rob Holmes, partner at Azets Corporate Finance said: “The M&A market remains buoyant and this transaction underlines that there continues to be an appetite for high-quality assets, particularly those operating in defensible markets with recurring or contracted revenues. We are delighted to have assisted the shareholders with this sale and are sure that the business will go from strength to strength.”

James Hawkeswood, partner at Blake Morgan, added: "Having helped Andy all the way from the very start of Esotec to this successful exit has been a privilege. I know how hard Andy, Dave and their team work to maintain their excellent reputation and relationship with customers, so it is great to see that effort rewarded in this way. I wish them and ADT every success in the next stage of Esotec's evolution."

Azets Corporate Finance (Holmes, partner and Simon Allen, executive) and Blake Morgan (Hawkeswood, partner, Kate Eyres, solicitor and Katie Newham, trainee solicitor) advised the shareholders of Esotec. ADT were advised by Eversheds (legal) and Mazars (financial and tax due diligence).

Speaking of their advisers, Durham, managing director of Esotec said: “We couldn’t have picked a better team to get this transaction over the line. The deal was subject to some complex negotiations which were managed by Rob from ACF and James from BM. They have in-depth knowledge of the business which played a major part in getting the right deal shape agreed at completion, while also securing the future business structure for both us and the Johnson Controls team. I am delighted with the result for all parties involved and would highly recommend this team to others when undertaking a similar transaction.”

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