Nottingham iPhone reseller sold in secondary MBO

NorthEdge Capital has completed the sale of Jigsaw24, the Nottingham provider of IT solutions to the corporate, creative and education sectors, to private equity firm Alcuin Capital Partners.

Jigsaw24 is a B2B reseller, integrator and managed service provider of Apple technology, Adobe and Avid software.

The company, which counts the likes of Barclays, Disney, Channel 4, BBC Sport and News UK among some its clients, has achieved sales growth of over 120% (£125m in the year to May 2017) under the stewardship of NorthEdge – while also benefitting from a 25-year working relationship with Apple.

Martin Balaam, outgoing chief executive at Jigsaw24, said: “It’s been an incredible five years. We are only at the start of the adoption of Apple and creative technology not only within the Creative Industry but also the broader Commercial & Enterprise business as “mobile first” is now reality and businesses have digital transformation at the top of their strategies. It’s been a pleasure to work alongside the Jigsaw24 management team and the wider Apple, Adobe and Avid community. I’d like to thank NorthEdge for their continued support and investment over the period and wish Alcuin and Jigsaw24 even greater success in the future.”

NorthEdge initially backedJigsaw24 in April 2013, supporting the existing management team, led by Balaam, to further develop the increasing popularity of creative technology in the workplace and demand for video content across multiple business sectors.

The company has since more than doubled its EBITDA to over £4m and successfully completed three bolt-on acquisitions to extend both its product line and geographical portfolio (which now includes London, Manchester, Cardiff and Glasgow).

Acquisitions to date include Square Group, a B2B Apple reseller, Matrix Software Development, an automated catalogue production software business and Root6, a storage, solutions and service provider to the media and creative industries.

This secondary management buyout was led by Jigsaw24 managing director and founder Roger Whittle and finance and operations director John Hughes, with the support of Alcuin and PNC Financial Services. Balaam will also exit the business with NorthEdge.

On the NorthEdge side, the sale was led by managing partner Grant Berry and investment manager Andrew Skinner. The exit represents a 3.1x return on investment for NorthEdge Capital Fund I.

Skinner said: “Jigsaw24 has achieved sustained growth since NorthEdge’s investment and has built an impressive client base, including some of the UK’s best known brands. Through organic growth and strategic acquisitions, we have expanded the business’ geographical presence and enhanced its offer for customers. It has been a pleasure working with Chairman Iain Ferguson and Roger, Martin, John and the rest of the management team at Jigsaw24 and we are confident that the firm will continue its upward trajectory in its next chapter.”

Matrix Software Development, which over the last 18 months has launched the SaaS Product Information Management and Digital Asset Management platform, Pimberly, has been spun off at the same time. With investment from NorthEdge, the venture will be led by Balaam as CEO.

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