Axell Wireless, a UK-based provider of wireless coverage solutions for the public safety sector, has acquired Israeli rival Dekolink. No financial terms were disclosed, except that Axell Wireless partially financed the deal via a new investment from existing sponsor ECI Partners.
ECI Partners (“ECI”), the UK mid market buyout specialist, announces it has increased its investment in Axell Wireless (formerly Aerial Facilities) to buy Dekolink. Dekolink, the Israeli based competitor focused on wireless coverage solutions in the cellular and public safety markets, provides Axell Wireless with access to Dekolink’s leading digital repeater technology as well as an enhanced customer base and market opportunity, most notably in North America and the Central and Latin America region.
Dekolink is the second acquisition for Axell Wireless, since ECI’s original investment in January 2007, having acquired Avitec in March 2008.
This acquisition demonstrates ECI’s commitment to back its portfolio companies with new investment to help them grow despite the broader economic climate.
Ian Brown, CEO of Axell Wireless, commented: “The combination of Dekolink’s market leading digital technology combined with Axell Wireless’ existing multiband solutions will be a powerful combination for both our existing and prospective customers in the short and medium term. By combining Dekolink’s R&D capabilities with those of the established Axell Wireless organisation we expect to bring to market an extended range of solutions for all of the geographic regions in which we serve.”
Chris Watt of ECI Partners commented:
“We are delighted to backed Axell Wireless to buy Dekolink. It clearer indicates our willingness to put more money behind good teams who identify strategic bolt-on acquisitions.”
This deal, which follows the recent Thissucess exit of Racal Acoustics for £115m, the successful close of our 9th Fund at £430m and the investment in Ascribe plc further demonstrates that despite an uncertain economic and difficult transaction environment, ECI remains able to originate and complete high quality investments. We remain confident that the mid market, for those with the heritage and experience of investing through market cycles, will continue to generate great value for investors.”
About ECI Partners (www.ecipartners.com)
ECI recently announced the close of its ninth fund at £430m and is one of the longest established private equity groups in the UK and has helped to build and grow many successful businesses over the last 30 years. With offices in London and Manchester, and a team of 20 dedicated professionals, ECI specialises in buyouts, buy-ins and development capital deals of £10m to £150 million. ECI is owned by its team and manages private equity funds with a capital base of over £880 million; and has provided funds for over 250 companies.
With a focus of investing in businesses operating in niche, growth markets recent ECI investments include Ascribe plc, PRG, ilG, DLP, CliniSys, Kelvin Hughes, Axell Wireless, Premier Bathrooms, Bargain Booze, M2 Digital and Racal Acoustics. This investment strategy has enabled ECI to participate in the growth and successful exits of a wide range of businesses including recent exits from Racal Acoustics, Bounty, M and M Direct, Nuaire, Thinkmoney Group, Laterooms.com, ClarityBlue, Tragus, Kirker Travel, NCC Services, Hoseasons Holidays and Holiday Autos. ECI’s early investments included famous names such as Albert Fisher, Bloomsbury Publishing, Games Workshop, Guardian iT, Lowndes Lambert, National Express, Prontaprint, Sunsail, and Williams Holdings.
ECI has a strong track record of growing businesses, as evidenced by the growth in employment, turnover and profits at the six businesses ECI sold in 2007. During 2007 ECI sold Enviros, Anix, Thinkmoney Group, Nuaire, M and M Direct and Bounty for a total value of approximately £400m. During the period of ECI’s investment, these businesses created 775 new jobs, increased sales at 14% p.a. and profits at 22% p.a.
About Axell Wireless
Axell Wireless was formed by the 2007 merger of AFL and Avitec, and today is one of the top 3 global providers of wireless coverage solutions and the No 1 provider of solutions for the public safety market. Employing over 300 people, Axell Wireless has headquarters in Chesham, UK with another major facility based in Stockholm, Sweden. Current regional offices include Germany, Austria, France, United States, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, UAE and Canada. A wide distribution network, an extensive and expanding product range and a growing number of local sales offices make Axell Wireless a truly global player in the wireless coverage industry. www.axellwireless.com <http://www.axellwireless.com>
About the Transaction
Axell Wireless has acquired all of the assets of both Dekolink Ltd and Dekolink Inc from its shareholders. The precise terms of the transaction are not disclosed. Axell Wireless was advised by Avalon Capital (www.avalon-capital.com <http://www.avalon-capital.com/> ) and by lawyers Yigal Arnon (www.arnon.co.il <http://www.arnon.co.il/> ).