Crescent led the management buy-out with a £1m investment of Unidare Plastics Limited, a manufacturer of plastic piping and ducting selling mainly to the telecommunication and water industries. Subsequently, the trading business failed to perform to expectations which ultimately resulted in an organised winding down of the business. However, value was created from the company’s properties and in 2006, the site was sold for £4.35m, realising a profitable return for Fund I.
A manufacturer of natural veterinary products known as ‘Probiotics’ targeted at farm animals. Fund I invested in August 1996. The business achieved a number of “firsts” in the field of animal health; Crescent sold its holding back to management in August 2006 and the company continues to trade today.
A manufacturer of natural beauty products which were distributed via 340 franchised outlets in over thirty countries throughout the world. Fund I invested in February 1997.The funds investment financed on expansion of the product range however the business failed to achieve sufficient market volumes and wound up in July 2004.
Andor was spun out from Queens University Belfast in 1989. The company designs and manufactures a range of digital scientific cameras for spectroscopy and imaging applications. Andor operates globally in the scientific, academic and high throughput- screening segments of the life sciences market. Crescent first invested in October 1997 and in 2001 led a follow on round that introduced Lloyds TSB Development Capital. In December 2004, the company achieved an IPO on the London Stock Exchange. Subsequent to the flotation, Andor continued to grow both organically and through acquisition.
Andor was sold for £176m in 2014 to Oxford Instruments plc.
A manufacturer of toughened flat and curved glass. Fund I invested in October 1997.
A medical devices manufacturer. Fund I invested in February 1999.
Balcas is one of the largest independent timber processing operations in the British Isles with sawmilling facilities in Northern Ireland and related processing businesses in the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Estonia. Crescent led a syndicated development capital round of investment in Balcas during April 1999 to finance the purchase of an advanced sawmill and the rationalisation of the company’s operations. During 2004, the company began a process of diversification into the renewable energy sector and today has two Combined Heat and Power facilities feeding energy to the electricity grids in Northern Ireland and Scotland and also a growing wood pellet business driving the uptake of alternatives to oil fired burners for industrial, commercial and home users.
A medical devices subcontract manufacturer. Fund I invested in August 1999.
Developer of a novel drug delivery system using red blood cells and ultrasound. Fund I invested in March 2000.
Developer of defibrillation devices. Fund I invested in December 2000.
A manufacturer of frozen pastry and frozen fruit pies for resale through the UK’s leading supermarket groups. Fund I invested in April 2001.
Fund II invested in Lagan in October 2004, alongside London based DN Capital, to fund the expansion of the company’s UK operations and also to finance its entry into the US market. Later, the company raised further investment from Crescent, DN Capital and DFJ Esprit in 2006.
Lagan became the UK leader in local government contact centre solutions and established a presence in the US market in the niche of non-emergency 311 solutions. Further new market activity was achieved in Australia with the City of Brisbane secured as a customer in 2010.
In November 2010, Lagan was sold to KANA Software, Inc (an Accel-KKR funded company) for £29m.
Avalon developed a novel benchtop scientific measuring instrumentation based upon Raman Spectrometry. Fund II invested in Avalon in 2005 to capitalise upon the early stage market traction achieved at that time and to invigorate the product development process.
Avalon was sold to PerkinElmer, Inc in 2006.
A Queen’s University Belfast spin out, APT produced a novel audio compression algorithm.
Fund II and Dublin based Trinity Venture Capital financed the buy-out of APT from its ailing GB parent, Solid State Logic. Additional capital was invested to finance the development of the business. The company subsequently moved to a growth footing with revenues rising over the next three years to over £5m.
In March 2009, the hardware business was sold to Audemat, a French company and the software licensing business was sold to CSR plc in July 2010.
Fusion is a spin-out from Queen’s University Belfast focused on the development of novel antibodies that when used in conjunction with existing chemotherapeutic drugs, increases their effectiveness thereby providing the potential to extend economic lives of mainstream drugs beyond initial patent expiry. Fund II’s initial investment and successive rounds of investment have seen the company through the pre-clinical trials stages of development. Fusion also supplies antibodies and other services to pharma companies.
Datactics is a software product company selling data cleansing solutions to a range of clients.
MailDistiller’s founders stepped away from British Telecommunications PLC in 2006 to form this company focused on providing spam and email virus protection solutions to the corporate sector via the software as a service business model. The company was sold to Proofpoint, Inc. in April 2013.
Replify was a start-up that Fund II backed initially in 2007. The company has developed a software product that facilitates the more effective use of corporate software applications between remote sites and in particular for remote workers. Since establishment, the product re-engineered for enterprise scale use and the value proposition focused down into a limited number of verticals.
Omiino was founded by a group of senior ex Nortel executives and engineers in 2007 with Fund II participating as the main investor in the start-up. Omiino is a fabless semi- conductor business designing solutions for the telecommunications industry delivered on FPGA devices. Omiino’s products aim to provide the market with solutions delivering the performance and flexibility required at competitive prices whilst meeting the changing requirements of their customers who seek to service the demands of old legacy networks alongside those of newer optical networks. With the company having gained good traction in the market through a number of quality partners, the engineering capability of the team became increasingly recognised as a valuable asset.
In February 2011 the company was sold to Xilinx.
NiSoft is a software product company selling safety permit management software to the international power industry. Fund II facilitated a change in ownership of NiSoft in 2008 by funding a management buy-in. Since the buy-in, the company has delivered encouraging growth in revenues and profitability and is executing on its diversification plans by establishing its position as a credible supplier to the oil and gas sector. The company’s R&D and customer support activities are based in East Belfast with sales offices in the US and Singapore.
PathXL is a spin-out of Queen’s University Belfast. This company is focused on the commercial opportunities arising from the transition of the pathology market from analogue to digital. PathXL’s core product is software that facilitates the use of digital images in lieu of the traditional glass slides that pathologists use to make diagnoses on tissue samples. Fund II first invested in 2008.
Axis Three is a hardware and software business delivering 3D simulation solutions to the plastic, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery markets. The company’s product was purchased by surgeons seeking to differentiate their practices through an enhanced patient experience through demonstration of postoperative outcomes on patients’ own bodies. The company failed to achieve sufficient commercial traction and closed in November 2013.
Biznet provides software solutions to the oil and gas market in the field of supplier performance management. Fund II invested during 2009, on the back of the company achieving reference sales in the US market to fund a strengthening of the company’s balance sheet and an accelerated growth plan. Sales are managed from a US office in Houston with product development and support driven from an office in Londonderry.
In December 2015 the company was acquired by NiSoft Holdings Limited.
SpeechStorm is a solutions business that spun out of a successful software services business in Belfast, Kainos Limited, in 2010. The company provides speech based interactive customer care solutions to a range of industries including large retailers and utilities. In parallel with independence from Kainos Limited, SpeechStorm received investment from Fund II to fund sales growth and the development of next generation media and mobile based systems.
In December 2015 the company was acquired by Genesis Inc.
Analytics Engines is an emerging player in the development of extremely high performance data processing accelerators. Its technology improves the ability to operate on and analyse big data, accelerating processing by up to 100x in a compact, cost efficient hardware package. Customers benefit from the ability to run more sophisticated analytics on larger data volumes at much faster speeds, using plug-in accelerator cards and reducing the number of computers required. Fund III invested in January 2014.
B9 Energy Control Limited is an innovative renewable energy company which applied Technology to the efficient production of Land Fill Gas.
Belfast Power Ltd