NWDC makes a secure exit

NatWest Development Capital (NWDC) has completed the sale of Security Closures (UK) Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Brooks Holdings Ltd to Orbis plc for £7.35 million. Following the sale of the business to Orbis, it will be merged with the main trading subsidiary, Orbis Property Protection Ltd.

NWDC invested in the business in January 1999 and since then has supported the continued expansion of the business in return for a minority shareholding.

Security Closures provides a range of security screens and doors for empty properties and other related services to local authorities, housing associations and commercial organisations across the UK. Over the last two years, Security Closures has experienced strong organic growth and in the year ended 30 April 2000, the business generated pre-tax profits of £700,000.

Maurice Brooks, managing director and principal shareholder of Security Closures has been appointed a director of Orbis plc to assist with the ongoing development of the group’s business.

Angela Marron, NWDC said of the deal: “We were attracted to Security Closures due to the quality of the company’s product and its service offering, both of which had enabled it to develop a good position in a fragmented, but consolidated market.”

“We have been delighted with the progress that the company has made and wish the management team well as they enter the next phase of the company’s development.”

Last year, NWDC appointed Catalyst Corporate Finance in Nottingham to work with Security Closures shareholders in effecting a sale of the business. Catalyst have successfully brought the deal to a suitable conclusion. Browne Jacobson, Nottingham advised NWDC at the time of the original investment and latterly on the exit.

Keith Pickering of Catalyst Corporate Finance said that the transaction shows that premium prices are attainable outside of the technology sector if the right buyer can be brought to the table. He said: “In addition to securing an attractive price we were able to structure a tax efficient deal that allowed Maurice Brooks to reward his long serving and loyal employees.”

The exit by NWDC concludes another successful investment for the company and is part of the overall development of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s private equity group which, in addition to NWDC includes Royal Bank Private Equity, the recently launched Royal Bank Ventures and the Asset Management Structured Unit.