NorthEdge Capital, the private equity firm focused on investing in businesses based in the North of England, has backed the growth investment of Apple and creative IT solutions provider Jigsaw24.
Jigsaw Holdings Ltd, whose wholly owned subsidiary Jigsaw Systems Ltd trades as Jigsaw24, offers IT solutions to businesses across the UK and has particular expertise in Apple, Adobe and creative solutions. The company, founded in 1992, has an impressive 21-year track record of year-on-year growth and has capitalised on the growing popularity of Apple products, mobile devices and development of associated apps for the workplace.
The deal is the second transaction by NorthEdge following the investment in FPE Global, the high-growth specialist engineering firm, in February.
NorthEdge, which is based in Manchester and Leeds, has acquired a majority stake in Jigsaw24 and the investment will accelerate growth plans both organically and through acquisitions. The business has a loyal customer base in the UK’s creative and education markets and has moved into other sectors, including commercial and public sector.
Jigsaw24 will use the funding for significant expansion in these growing sectors and in its application development and managed services offerings focused around the Apple ecosystem.
The company is headquartered in Nottingham with a service operation based at MediaCityUK in Salford. It employs 143 people and has turnover of £60million. The business plans to open a facility in London later this year.
NorthEdge’s investment backs the management team, led by chief executive Martin Balaam and managing director and founder Roger Whittle. As part of the transaction, Ashvin Pathak, an experienced IT investor, has been appointed as non-executive chairman.
The deal was led by NorthEdge partner Ray Stenton. NorthEdge’s managing partner Grant Berry and investment manager Tom Rowley have joined the Jigsaw24 board as non-executive directors.
Ray Stenton said: “Jigsaw24 is an established player in the Apple and creative IT solutions market with a well-established growing customer base. The business has enjoyed sustained growth through operating in sectors such as the creative industry and education, and capitalising on the increased acceptance of Apple solutions in the workplace.
“There are significant opportunities for further growth as Apple gains a wider share of the enterprise market and this investment provides the capital for more accelerated expansion. There is also huge potential in the application managed services offering of the business and also in mobile device management as an increasing number of employees use smartphones and tablets as part of their core workflow.
“Jigsaw24 has succeeded by adapting quickly to opportunities in the market and it is exactly the kind of business that NorthEdge looks to support. Our investment will ensure it has the backing to go from strength to strength.”
Jigsaw24 chief executive Martin Balaam said: “Jigsaw24 has grown considerably in recent years as Apple and creative IT have become adopted beyond more than the creative and educational sectors. More and more enterprises are embracing Apple and iOS technology, transforming how their users interact with each other and their customers, creating efficient workflows and a paradigm shift in user and customer experience. The investment from NorthEdge provides us with the platform to accelerate growth and expand our UK footprint.”
Debt facilities for the deal were provided by Lloyds, while a team from Deloitte’s Manchester office, led by Oliver Tebbutt and Iain Marlow, provided corporate finance advice to NorthEdge on the transaction.
Transcend Corporate advised management and Cooper Parry advised the vendor. Deloitte (commercial) and PwC (financial) provided due diligence to NorthEdge and Management.
Legal advice was provided by Gateley (NorthEdge), Heatons (Management) and Browne Jacobson (vendor).
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