Kleinwort Capital in technology buyout

The UK mid-market investor has invested in the £20.5m buyout of communications software maker Securicor, now renamed Vivista, whose main client is the UK government

Kleinwort Capital, the London-based mid-market investor that bought itself out of Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein (DrKW) in 2001, has backed the £20.5m management buyout of Securicor Information Systems Plc, which will now be trading under the new name of Vivista.

The Chippenham, UK based company employs 500 staff and had revenues of £48.3m for the year ended 30 September 2002. According to a statement issued by its private equity sponsor, Vivista is “substantially profitable in the current year.”

Vivista, established 30 years ago, is currently servicing three contracts under the UK government’s National Strategy for Police Information Systems. The company has been involved in developing strategic communications systems designed to help free up police officers’ time for field operations. A rollout of these systems to 42 police units in England and Wales is currently underway. Vivista also has a contract with the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Steven Clarke, who heads up Kleinwort Capital’s technology investment effort, said his firm had won the mandate to back Vivista’s management team ahead of a number of interested trade buyers and financial investors. “With a good client base and strong recurring revenues, Vivista is an attractive business with good prospects for a trade sale going forward”, Clarke commented.

NMB Heller, the independent structured finance house, provided debt. London law firm MacFarlanes acted as legal advisor to Vivista and Kleinwort Capital. Shreeveport Consultants, Ernst & Young and Aon also advised on the deal. 

Kleinwort Capital funded the transaction from its Kleinwort Capital Partners IV fund, which is currently fundraising with a £200m target. Vivista is the fund’s third investment in total, and the first in the technology sector. Kleinwort Capital focuses on investing in technology, media, healthcare and specialist manufacturing.

The firm, which at present manages £300m of capital on behalf of institutional investors, has five technology investments in its portfolio, four of which backed by the £183m Kleinwort Benson Equity Partners fund it raised while part of DrKW.