Belfast Telegraph

Equity firm stakes £6m on Seven to be tops in engineering

By Clare Weir

A Northern Ireland engineering company has received a £6.6m cash injection from a private equity firm.

Seven Technologies employs 42 people including engineers in electronic, software and mechanical design in Lisburn.

The company, which was founded in 2005, has products such as integrated data transfer systems, video encoding and rugged computers for use in harsh conditions and inhospitable environments.

YFM Equity Partners invested the money in an all-equity deal through three of its funds, Chandos Fund and its two British Smaller Companies Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs).

As part of the deal, YFM has brought chairman Richard Moon, who has experience in sectors including communications and electronics, to the business.

This is the first investment for YFM in Northern Ireland and the firm says it may not be the last.

Paul Cannings, investment director and Giles Whitman, investment manager, YFM Equity Partners worked on the deal.

Mr Cannings said that he looked forward to working with the company. "The Seven Technologies team has a strong track record of growing their business, a loyal customer base and a clear path to future success," he said.

"We believe that our funding and advice can help continue Seven Technologies' development into a leading provider of highly sophisticated flexible technology solutions that are in high demand.

"We thought this was a very experienced and driven management team with some real technical expertise.

"It's not a particularly well served market in Northern Ireland in terms of private equity.

"We would be very keen to have a look at other opportunities in Northern Ireland to speak to more businesses who fit our criteria."

Gavin Williamson joined the business as chief executive in May 2011.

He said: "YFM Equity Partners is a great funding partner for our business.

"They understand our sector and have a strong track record of growing small British businesses," he said.

"This funding will support our continued rapid growth and further investment in our highly regarded operational support teams."