NVM Private Equity (NVM) is pleased to announce that it has sold
e-know.net, a pioneering provider of hosted desktop and managed IT services, to AIM-listed Nasstar plc, a hosted desktop cloud computing provider. The consideration for the sale was £13 million which represents a total return on the original investment of 3.6x.
e-know.net was established by David Redwood, an experienced entrepreneur at the height of the technology boom, in 2000. He had already successfully created and sold Largotim, the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems integrator. Martin Green had previously invested alongside David to support the overseas expansion of Largotim. So, when the opportunity arose to support David’s new venture, Martin and NVM were keen to invest. In 2004, NVM invested £1.5 million in e-know.net to help David continue to invest in technology infrastructure to expand the range of services offered. He has built a strong and entrepreneurial management team that has succeeded in driving the business forward. David will take on the role of the group’s Deputy Chairman.
e-know.net provides a comprehensive cloud service package, offering hosted desktop and exchange services, managed Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and IT support. The business has focused principally on direct sales to the legal, financial services and recruitment sectors, benefiting from its ability to support industry specific regulatory requirements. e-know.net currently has 103 managed service clients, ranging in size from 1 to 1,500 users. NVM has been a client of e-know.net’s IT hosting services for the past seven years.
As part of a larger group, e-know.net will be able to reach out to a wider range of business types and sizes —capitalising on the accelerating growth in the hosted desktop and managed applications market.
David Redwood comments
“We are pleased to be part of a combined group that will be able to bring a portfolio of products and services to both its existing and prospective customers. We look forward to building market share and consequently shareholder value. Our business has been built on relationships and, I believe, this has been the key to our success. We have had a long-standing relationship with Martin Green and his team at NVM and I would not hesitate to work with them again in the future. It was really important for us to partner with an investor who shared our values and supported our desire to protect the day-to-day running of the business. When NVM became our client it was clear that they believed in our business enough to let us help them with theirs.”
Martin Green, Managing Director of NVM Private Equity, comments:
“We are delighted with our investment and successful sale of e-know.net. David Redwood and his team have developed a powerful hosted desktop proposition over the years, and it is now the right time for them to attract a wider client base. One of the key drivers to e-know.net’s success has been the team’s clear focus on providing a high quality service to long-standing clients. For NVM, there was no better way to understand a portfolio company’s client needs than to become a customer, and our transition to e-know.net’s cloud-hosted IT environment has proved to be a great success. We have no doubt that David and his team will continue to evolve in the new group.”
Notes To Editors
Oakley Capital Corporate Finance (Corporate Finance Advisors) – Chris Brooks
Wragge & Co. (Legal advisors) – Julian Henwood, Ashley Chambers, Ragi Singh, Neil Pearson
e-know.net is based in Telford, Midlands and provides a comprehensive cloud service package, offering hosted desktop and exchange services, with the ability to host a wide variety of software applications on behalf of clients. e-know.net additionally hosts internet based telephony systems – known as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP); provides managed networks and an extensive user support service.
Nasstar was founded in 1988 by Charles Black, initially providing website development and hosting services. Nasstar launched a hosted email service in 2003 and then in 2004 launched its hosted desktop service and hosted email. Nasstar was admitted to trading on AIM on 29 December 2005.
NVM Private Equity Limited (NVM)
is independently owned with over 29 years’ experience of investing in unquoted UK businesses. NVM is a generalist investor, managing £260 million of funds, and is differentiated by having executives living and working in regional business communities throughout the UK. NVM seeks investment opportunities in UK businesses which have the right mix of growth potential and market vision. They may be looking to grow organically, acquire another business or secure a management buy-out. Typically, NVM looks to invest between £2 million and £10 million in each transaction. www.nvm.co.uk
For further information please contact: