Security VAR SecureData has opened up talks with multiple acquisition targets after completing its management buyout (MBO).
The Check Point, Juniper and Websense partner has received shareholder clearance to spin off from Johannesburg-listed parent SecureData Group Holdings.
It is now backed by private equity firm August Equity, which has set aside a war chest for SecureData to make targeted acquisitions.
Managing director Etienne Greeff – one of three staff leading the MBO – said the goal is to grow SecureData into a £50m IT security services outfit. Its turnover for the year to the end of July is on course to grow from £16m to £20m.
Greeff said SecureData would mark itself out from other private equity-backed MBO ventures by tightly integrating the firms it acquires.
"We hope to make a couple of acquisitions in the next three months," he told ChannelWeb.
"Typically, they will be turning over £3m to £5m, operate in the security services space and have a good customer base and management team.
"But this is not about us acquiring revenue. In the past, the [buy-and-build ventures] that have not done well have not fully integrated the acquisitions and have not understood exactly what they bought. We are not interested in being a portfolio company, with lots of smaller companies running separately."
SecureData Group Holdings bought SecureData in 2008 when the firm was known as MIS. It agreed to the MBO after concluding its interests in the UK had distracted it from the task of focusing on its core African business, which has struggled recently.
SecureData's business plan sees organic revenue rising to £28m over the next three years.
This means the firm must make acquisitions accounting for about £16m of revenue to reach its £50m turnover goal, Greeff said, allowing for the growth associated with these acquisitions.
"Our goal is to become a £50m IT security services company and we cannot do that organically," said Greeff.
Kay Bruen, founder of channel consultancy Clipsham IT, said SecureData had always operated a "very precise acquisition strategy", considering only firms that fit geographically, strengthen its relationships with key vendors and add to its managed services prowess.
"If its acquisition strategy is managed well, SecureData could be in an extremely strong position to be one of the largest independent security and managed services specialists in the UK," Bruen added.
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