BGF supports London headquartered IT consultancy to expand its global footprint

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Business Growth Fund

08 October 2013

BGF, the independent company established to provide growth capital to the UK’s growing businesses, today announced that it has invested £8.7m of capital in London headquartered PTS Consulting Group (PTS), a global IT Consulting and Project Management company. Established in 1983, PTS operates from 17 strategically located offices, enabling a ‘follow the sun’ service from Australia, through Asia, the Middle East, Europe and America.

PTS’s clients, which include 17 of the top 20 global investment banks as well as more than 30 Fortune and FTSE 100 companies, have mission critical, multi-territory IT project requirements and PTS has the local knowledge and world class skills to supplement their in-house teams. This project activity has resulted in PTS helping its clients move into some of the world’s most iconic buildings such as: the Willis Tower in Chicago, the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange, the International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong and the Mori Tower in Tokyo. In London, PTS is working with companies moving into 122 Leadenhall Street (the ‘Cheesegrater’), 20 Fenchurch Street (‘the Walkie Talkie’) and 30, St Mary Axe (the ‘Gherkin’). PTS also provided Audio Visual and Multimedia expertise for The Shard Viewing Gallery and the London 2012 Olympics Aquatic Centre and Velodrome.  In total, PTS has worked in 80 countries and 320 cities.

PTS has recently invested in its Data Centre service, developing a consulting and market-leading accreditation platform, STARS, which has driven significant growth in the business. Data Centre projects have included supporting a global online retail and distribution company with an assessment of its Data Centre capability and working with a leading US financial institution to define its global Data Centre strategy.

CEO Kevin Perrett originally led an MBO of PTS in 1990 when it operated out of one London-based office with just eight employees. Since then, it has developed a presence in 10 countries employing 400 people, and has delivered 11,000 projects for 4,500 clients.  The business is on track to generate revenue of almost £40m in 2013.

BGF’s investment will fund geographical expansion, in particular in North America, accelerate the development of STARS, and allow PTS to recruit additional high calibre staff. Funding will also be available for strategically relevant acquisitions.

At completion, Rob Pinchbeck will join the Board as Chairman.  Rob has extensive international business experience developed during a 40-year career in the oil and gas industry, latterly with Petrofac where he founded and led the Operations Services division and subsequently served as Group Director of Strategy.  Rob has previously acted as Chairman of Sparrows Group, and currently is a non-executive Director of IGas plc, Enteq Upstream plc and Severn Energy International.

Kevin Perrett, CEO of PTS, said:  “PTS is an established business of thirty years standing and we have successfully grown year on year by reinvesting from our own balance sheet.  I am proud of our achievements to date but we are reaching the limits of what we can deliver organically in acceptable time frames.  Additional external investment will allow us to move forward further and faster; by expanding the range of services that we can offer our clients and the geographies where we provide critical on the ground support.

“Our clients are generally organisations with an international footprint and complex IT needs and understandably they are incredibly demanding and discerning.  As a business, we need to ensure that we can provide the highest levels of technical expertise and experience wherever and whenever it is needed.

“I am also motivated to secure the long-term legacy of this business.  PTS is owned by over 30 individual staff shareholders; we actively invest in our people; and a collegiate approach is a key part of our culture.  Finding the right fit with an investor was high up on our list of priorities.

“We looked into several different funding options before settling on BGF as our investor of choice.  We are not after a quick win or an imminent exit so their long-term view and partnership approach made sense to us.  We are looking forward to working with them.”

Tim Whittard, Investment Director at BGF, commented:

“I have known PTS since 2003 and have enjoyed seeing its continual expansion, doubling in size every 3 to 5 years purely from its own resources. The team has done a remarkable job to develop a business with a presence in 10 countries, serving over 4,500 customers and with annual turnover approaching £40m without any external investment.

“However, Kevin and his team have a strategy to continue to develop the business and at a faster rate than before so they can take full advantage of this exciting, high growth market place.  This strategy requires capital and additional expertise and this is where BGF can help.  It is a perfect example of a proven, dynamic and entrepreneurial team taking a considered and long-term view to growth.

“PTS exemplifies many of the different situations that BGF likes to support.  Whether a business is national or international, operates in a traditional or new sector, or has a single shareholder or a diverse base of collective interests, our focus is on identifying and backing quality businesses with growth potential.

“In any fund-raising process, selecting the right investor is an extremely important and personal choice. This was particularly true at PTS where Kevin and the team had run the business successfully and without external intervention for nearly 30 years.  It was important to us that Kevin and the team felt confident that BGF was a well-funded, long-term investor of the right quality; that we shared the values and goals of the team; and would invest using the right capital structure – all of which are critical to the long-term success of a business. We were able to structure an investment that satisfied all these requirements.

“For us this relationship is a long term partnership where together we share in the risks and the successes, and we are very much looking forward to working with the business in the years to come.”

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