5 March 2018

NorthEdge achieves 3.1x return on sale of UK’s largest Apple reseller

NorthEdge Capital has completed the sale of Jigsaw24, a leading provider of IT solutions to the corporate, creative and education sectors, to private equity firm Alcuin Capital Partners.

Based in Nottingham, Jigsaw24 is a B2B reseller, integrator and managed service provider of Apple technology, Adobe and Avid software.

The company, which counts the likes of Barclays, Disney, Channel 4, BBC Sport and News UK among some its clients, has achieved strong sales growth of over 120% (£125m in the year to May 2017) under the stewardship of NorthEdge – while also benefitting from a 25-year working relationship with Apple.

NorthEdge initially backed Jigsaw24 in April 2013, supporting the existing management team, led by CEO Martin Balaam, to further develop the increasing popularity of creative technology in the workplace and demand for video content across multiple business sectors.

The company has since more than doubled its EBITDA to over £4m and successfully completed three bolt-on acquisitions to extend both its product line and geographical portfolio (which now includes London, Manchester, Cardiff and Glasgow).

Acquisitions to date include Square Group, a B2B Apple reseller, Matrix Software Development, an automated catalogue production software business and Root6, a storage, solutions and service provider to the media and creative industries.

This secondary management buyout was led by Jigsaw24 Managing Director & Founder Roger Whittle and Finance & Operations Director John Hughes, with the support of Alcuin and PNC Financial Services. Jigsaw24’s CEO, Martin Balaam, will also exit the business with NorthEdge.

On the NorthEdge side, the sale was led by Managing Partner Grant Berry and Investment Manager Andrew Skinner. The exit represents a 3.1x return on investment for NorthEdge Capital Fund I.

This sale is NorthEdge’s second divestment of 2018 following the £70m deal for premium door and window manufacturer DW3 to Masonite International Corporation in January (http://northedgecapital.com/news/northedge-exits-dw3-70m-deal/).

Andrew Skinner, Investment Manager at NorthEdge Capital, said: Jigsaw24 has achieved sustained growth since NorthEdge’s investment and has built an impressive client base, including some of the UK’s best known brands. Through organic growth and strategic acquisitions, we have expanded the business’ geographical presence and enhanced its offer for customers. It has been a pleasure working with Chairman Iain Ferguson and Roger, Martin, John and the rest of the management team at Jigsaw24 and we are confident that the firm will continue its upward trajectory in its next chapter.”

Matrix Software Development, which over the last 18 months has launched the SaaS Product Information Management and Digital Asset Management platform, Pimberly, has been spun off at the same time. With investment from NorthEdge, the venture will be led by Martin Balaam as CEO.

Martin Balaam, outgoing CEO at Jigsaw24, said: It’s been an incredible five years. We are only at the start of the adoption of Apple and creative technology not only within the Creative Industry but also the broader Commercial & Enterprise business as “mobile first” is now reality and businesses have digital transformation at the top of their strategies. It’s been a pleasure to work alongside the Jigsaw24 management team and the wider Apple, Adobe and Avid community. I’d like to thank NorthEdge for their continued support and investment over the period and wish Alcuin and Jigsaw24 even greater success in the future.”

Adrian Lurie, Partner at Alcuin Capital, said: Jigsaw24 is a leader in its field with a great team and strong track record of profitable growth. Their plans going forward are exciting and we are looking forward to working with Roger, John and the whole of the Jigsaw24 team to support this next exciting phase in the business’ development.”

Roger Whittle, Founder and incoming CEO added: I and the senior management team at Jigsaw24 would like to thank Grant, Andrew and everyone at NorthEdge for their professional support these last five years. With John Hughes as COO alongside myself, and some significant additions to our revitalised management team, we are excited about implementing our ambitious investment plans, as we work together in close partnership with Alcuin Capital, taking Jigsaw24 onto the next level together.

Our close collaboration with Apple in the exciting and growing areas of enterprise, education and digital transformation allied to our strong momentum within the media and entertainment sector backed by an expanding services proposition give us great confidence in the future.”

NorthEdge was advised by Carl Houghton, Rob Burden, Emma Rodgers, Daniel Delooze and Kirsten Handley at Clearwater International (Corporate Finance), PwC (Financial Due Diligence), and Roland Berger (Commercial Due Diligence). Beyond Corporate, led by Matt Fleetwood, provided legal advice to Jigsaw24.

Alcuin was supported in the transaction by Russell Van Praagh and his team at Osborne Clarke and Richard Rose and his team at BDO.

Contact our press offices at MC2 for more information. northedge@thisismc2.com 0161 236 1352

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