Fortus Group makes trio of acquisitions with AIB backing


Security and fire safety business Fortus Group has completed a trio of acquisitions supported by fresh backing from AIB Equity Capital.

AIB has invested €14.5m (£12.7m) into the Dublin-headquartered group, which has assisted in the financing of the acquisitions of The Electric Gate Shop, Specialized Security Products and Red Rhino Monitoring.

AIB’s investment has provided an exit for Rockpool Investments, which has partnered with the business for three years, generating a return of 2.5x for its investor base.

Founded by executive chairman Brian Honan, Fortus has grown its revenues from €16m to €100m during the past five years. Employing 250 people across the UK and Ireland, the group supplies installers of CCTV, intruder detection and alarms, access control, fire safety, gate automation and remote monitoring systems.

Specialized Security Products, based in Buntingford, Hertfordshire, provides access control and gate automation systems. The Electric Gate Shop is another specialist gate automation distributor based in Dearne Valley, Rotherham. Red Rhino Monitoring is a CCTV monitoring business based in Cheshire.

A PKF team led by David Lucas and Jack Swinburne in Dublin and Sam Phillips in Bristol carried out financial and tax due diligence for AIB and Fortus.

Fortus chief executive Mark Brophy said: “This was a terrific deal to get closed and it was great working with the combined PKF team in the UK and Ireland once again. The combined transactions bring the Fortus Group to revenues of €115m (£10m) and we are not finished here.

“We look forward to working with PKF again as we continue to grow in the UK and Ireland and now into mainland Europe with the backing of AIB. I’d like to thank David, Jack, Sam, Shane and teams for their support on these transactions and hope everyone has a well-deserved peaceful Christmas.”

David Lucas, corporate finance partner at PKF O’Connor, Leddy & Holmes, said: “We are delighted to assist AIB Equity on their investment into the Fortus Group. This was a great combined effort of PKF UK & Ireland to deliver this outcome. I’d like to wish Mark, Brian and the entire Fortus team every success in the future.”

Sam Phillips, transaction services director at PKF Francis Clark, added: “Having previously advised Fortus on its acquisition of Enterprise Security Distribution, we were pleased to work closely with our PKF colleagues in Ireland to support the group’s continued expansion with the backing of AIB. This was a complex project involving a number of stakeholders and a great team effort.

“Fortus has grown rapidly in recent years through bolt-on acquisitions, and part of our task was to help AIB understand the underlying, sustainable profit growth of the business. These latest acquisitions will enable Fortus to diversify its product offering while benefiting from increased buying power.”

PKF’s team also comprised Jack Swinburne, Conor O’Rourke and Tom Kenny in Ireland and Tom Slade, Adam Kefford and Callum West in South West England. Shane O’Donovan and Eoin Kenny assisted from a tax structuring perspective.


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