15 August 2011

 

Dragonsʼ Denʼs Peter Jones sells Wireless Logic to ECI and management

Dragonsʼ Den star and serial entrepreneur Peter Jones CBE has sold Wireless Logic to ECI

Partners (ECI), the UK mid-market private equity firm, and management for £38m. Wireless

Logic is the UKʼs leading independent Machine to Machine (M2M) communications specialist, with 3,600 customers and nearly 600,000 SIMS under management in the UK and continental Europe. ECI is one of the longest established private equity groups in the UK and has total committed capital of over £1.1billion.

 

Wireless Logic operates in the fast growing M2M communications market, offering a M2M

communication solution for its customers, connecting embedded sensing devices in their

machines (e.g. vehicles) via SIM-based technology. The company partners with all the major

mobile networks including Vodafone, Orange and O2. The capability of SIM enabled machines

to transmit and receive information instantaneously improves efficiency, reduces costs and

improves response times. Applications include vehicle tracking, smart metering, home and

business security and intelligent health monitoring.

 

Wireless Logic’s technology and services are integral to the continued growth of the “Internet of

Things”, which refers to the increasing number of devices that are internet enabled. Vehicle

tracking was one of the first industry sectors to develop on the back of M2M technology and

significant growth remains in this market, with only 20% of commercial vehicles currently

tracked. Rapid growth is also forecast in other sectors, such as smart utility metering,

healthcare and security, and new applications are being developed every day such as wireless

advertising and PDQ machines in taxis.

 

The M2M market is forecast to experience rapid growth of more than 30% per annum and

Wireless Logic is well positioned to benefit from this expansion. The company was ranked 25th

in the Sunday Timesʼ Tech Track 2010 league table of the UKʼs fastest-growing private

technology companies.

 

Wireless Logic was formed in 1999 by the current Managing Director, Oliver Tucker, and Sales

Director, Philip Cole both highly experienced operators in the telecoms and technology

industries. Peter Jones CBE a major technology investor acquired the business in 2002 as

he believed that the M2M market had huge potential in the years to follow.

 

Chris Warren, Director of ECI, commented:

“The possible applications for M2M technology are virtually limitless and we are extremely

excited by the potential of Wireless Logic in this rapidly growing market. We are looking forward

to working with the management team and assisting the company in its continuing expansion

and market development.”

 

Peter Jones CBE said:

Wireless Logic is the UK’s leader in M2M networks and has grown significantly in a fairly short

time frame since I made the decision to acquire the business in 2002. I have thoroughly

enjoyed helping Philip and Oliver to grow the business in that time and I will be watching with

interest how the business develops further with the support and backing of ECI.

 

Oliver Tucker, Managing Director, commented:

 

We moved quickly to secure a commanding market position in this exciting and rapidly

developing M2M market and have created a business model that adds value to our clients and

that creates attractive recurring revenues. We look forward to building on our position as market

leaders with continual development in our software platform and increasing our service and

value-adds to our channel customers.

 

Philip Cole, Sales and Marketing Director, commented:

We are excited to be moving on to the next stage in our companyʼs development and expect to

benefit from ECIʼs backing and knowledge of our sector. We will continue to drive growth in the UK and further European expansion is our next stop.

 

For further information please contact:

Equus Group (for ECI Partners)

Sam Barton +44 (0)20 7223 1100

Sam.Barton@equusgroup.co.uk

 

Financial, Legal and Commercial Advisors:

PwC – corporate finance advice, commercial, financial and tax due diligence for ECI

Grant Thornton – operational due diligence for ECI

Burges Salmon – legal advice to ECI

KPMG – financial due diligence for Wireless Logic

Osborne Clarke – legal advice to Wireless Logic and shareholders

The Quinn Partnership – management due diligence for ECI

 

 

ECI Partners (www.ecipartners.com)

Originally founded in 1976, ECI is one of the longest established private equity groups in the

UK. With offices in Manchester and London, and a team of 21 dedicated professionals, ECI

specialises in buy-outs, buy-ins and development capital deals of £10 million to £150 million.

ECI is owned by its team and has total committed capital of over £1.1billion. It has provided

funding to over 250 companies.

 

In December 2008, ECI raised ECI 9, ECIʼs ninth buyout fund which is £437 million in size. This fundraising process exceeded the original £400 million target in just three months, with over

90% of the capital being committed by existing ECI investors.

 

ECI has a strong track record of backing growth companies in the Software & IT Services

sector, including Fourth Hospitality, CarTrawler, XLN Telecom, Ascribe, Clinisys, ClarityBlue,

GK Communications, Language Line, MM Group, NCC, OSI and Guardian iT.

 

This is ECIʼs sixth new investment in eleven months (the others being Stewart Group,

CarTrawler, Fourth Hospitality Reed & Mackay and XLN) with total enterprise value of c.£320

million and equity invested by ECI of £170 million.

 

 

Wireless Logic (www.wirelesslogic.com)

Headquartered in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, with its operational centre in London’s Docklands.

Oliver Tucker (49): Managing Director. Oliver has spent 27 years in the IT and mobile

industries. Having graduated from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver he

developed his interest in IT and Communications by becoming a journalist on the ITʼs leading

weekly newspaper, Computing. He then moved into sales and marketing as he sought to

develop his career and eventually became managing director of DIP Systems (Distributed

Information Processing), where he remained for 9 years. A founder of Wireless Logic he has

steered the commercial and strategic direction of the company since its inception.

 

Philip Cole (39): Sales and Marketing Director. Philip has worked with Oliver since 1998 and is

the co-founder of Wireless Logic. He is the Sales and Marketing Director of the company and is

the visionary behind many of the companyʼs services. Acknowledged as an expert within the

M2M market he is often quoted in industry articles and speaks or sits as a panellist at many

industry events, both in the UK and Europe.

 

Areas of operation:

Security (CCTV, Burglar Alarms, Fleet Tracking)

Fleet Tracking (Fleet Management, Stolen Vehicle, Tracking, Route Tracking, Status

Monitoring, Telemetry)

Monitoring & Metering (Environmental, Monitoring, Service Metering, Smart Meters)

Remote Worker (Fieldforce, Automation, Lone Worker, Applications)

Agriculture (Event Monitoring, Remote Sensor, Monitoring)

Retailing (Display Boards, EPOS)

Transport (Road Signage, Traffic Monitoring)

Healthcare (Telecare, Telehealth, Assisted Living, Patient Record, Outcomes, Remote

Healthcare, Monitoring)