Smith & Williamson helps security firm unlock bright future after sale to investment firm

October 14, 2021

Accountancy group Smith & Williamson’s Bristol-based corporate finance has advised on the sale of a Bath security, fire and safety systems firm which will enable it to expand.

Established in 1988, BWS supplies, installs, maintains and monitors fire alarms, intruder alarms, CCTV and access control systems for commercial and residential customers, principally across the South West. 

It is recognised as a leader in customer service and product innovation and the support of new owner London-based investment firm Sonmarg will enable it to bring both to a larger geographical area.

BWS Security founders Mike Stone and Chris Jenkins said: “We are immensely proud of what BWS and the people within it have achieved over the last 30 years.

“It was critical to find a partner who will continue the business’s principles of excellence, innovation and service for the next 30 years and we were delighted to achieve that with Sonmarg.

“We would like to thank the Smith & Williamson team for their unwavering commitment and support throughout this process.

“They were with us every step of the way and were instrumental in achieving the successful outcome.”

The Smith & Williamson team included partner Martyn Fraser, director Mark Lord and associate director Ronan Brophy.

Mark Lord, pictured, said: “BWS is an exceptional business and the perfect platform to drive consolidation within the fragmented South West security and fire market. 

“It was no surprise that it attracted interest from many parties and we look forward to seeing it continue to prosper under the long-term ownership of Sonmarg.”

Sonmarg’s acquisition of BWS is its first move towards building a strategic business in the security market, which is worth £1.4bn and has had an average annual growth rate of 5.6% per year over the past five years.

London-based lender Shawbrook Bank supported the acquisition with a bespoke commercial loan facility. Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.

To help steer BWS’s next phase of growth, Sonmarg has recruited Benedict O’Halloran and Alexander Schuil to join its board. Benedict was previously chief legal officer at Verisure/Securitas Direct, the second-largest home alarm provider in the world, with 3.6m customers in 16 countries, while Alexander  is the chief executive of Briscoe Protective, a top 35 fire and security protection business in North America.

Sonmarg principal Haris Khan said:We are thrilled to announce the acquisition of BWS Security Systems. We plan to build further on the firm’s excellent customer service, strong customer retention and robust financial performance.

“We plan to continue the business’s growth through further investment into the core business, as well as seeking acquisitions that will help accelerate our growth plans.”

Legal advice to the BWS was provided by Clarke Willmott, which has an office in Bristol. Sonmarg Capital was advised by K&L Gates and HMT.

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