Morphose delivers expert consultancy for sale of Active Security and Yeoman Monitoring Services to Scutum Group

International advisory and brokerage services business Morphose has provided expert consultancy to Active Security and Yeoman Monitoring Services on the sale to French company Scutum Group. Active Security and Yeoman Monitoring Services presented themselves as an attractive acquisition opportunity after a sustained period of growth in the UK market, with a combined turnover of circa £7 million.


Morphose seek to optimise the infrastructure of businesses that are looking to improve, buy or sell their organisations. In this instance, Morphose were retained to market, advise and coordinate the sale of the jointly owned security business. The deal was finalised in late 2016, with Scutum Group anticipating further growth and looking to expand operations in the UK in the coming years.


Active Security Group and Yeoman Monitoring Services has a well-established heritage and history of excellent service in the UK, being founded over 44 and 32 years ago respectively. Self-described as having a “raft of industry experience” the Essex based business has been actively involved at a senior level with industry trade associations, standards committees and inspectorate throughout its history. It is this experience that brought interest from Scutum Group, a European mainstay of integrated protection solutions, with over 25 years of trading.


Nick Atherton, Managing Director of Morphose, commented:

“As an established and profitable joint business, Active Security and Yeoman Alarms are an excellent acquisition for Scutum Group. Clients are now looking for a more intimate working relationship and Morphose were delighted to be on hand every step of the way. We look forward to further overseas M&A interest in the coming year.”


Franck Namy, Chairman for Scutum Group, added:

“We are very pleased to acquire Active Security and Yeoman Alarms and welcome them to the wider Scutum Group. This acquisition process has been exemplary and Morphose were invaluable throughout negotiations. Scutum Group look forward to honouring the heritage of this business and building on its great service.”

Negotiated position for solar/wind in major infrastructure

Our client is a designer of large-scale energy projects and an installer of solar, photovoltaic and wind assets to produce hot water and electricity.

They had reached a point in the UK where the market had been flooded with groups selling what they felt was inferior product; however, these groups were winning work based on their lower costs. At the same time changes in the UK Feed-In Tariff (FIT) were limiting the opportunity to grow.

We worked with the client to identify large-scale overseas projects where we could work with other groups to provide our client with a unique position in turnkey projects, whereby they would become part of the lead team from an early stage.

In addition, we identified an overseas power company who wanted to gain a foothold in a new geographic area with a complementary business that reflected their values and could offer them a route to market for their product.

By combining these two groups informally through a venturing agreement, we were able to identify a number of projects and secure our client a negotiated position for a major PV farm, which would also incorporate combined heat and power (CHP) through the overseas power company.

Our ability to understand the key factors in delivering a successful infrastructure project (enabled by our property and FM backgrounds), together with our experience in brokering deals, allowed us to form an agreement between the parties to create value.

Click here to download a PDF of the case study

Short-term appointment of a senior executive to drive change

Our client is a medium-sized soft-services supplier who works in the South of England.

They had successfully grown over the years but reached a point where turnover was stagnant and profit had decreased. Whilst current contracts had been extended, no new accounts had been secured.

The owner felt the business lacked direction and he was at a loss, feeling he had nobody upon whom he could rely to help him and the business move forward. He therefore engaged us to help identify a set of actions and what the underlying issues were in his business.

We initially undertook a set of workshops following an assessment of his operations against what we considered ‘best in class’, and from this we worked with him to engage his management team.

This had mixed results, and we agreed with him that an interim executive should be appointed to work with him on a defined basis, so this person could get to know the day-to-day workings in detail and support our client.

Over the course of three months, our interim executive was able to directly address a number of issues that came to light and was on hand to support our client at his offices.

The end result was that our client made a number of personnel changes and had the confidence to take the business forward with a new plan and a fresh team to support him in the programme of change that had been agreed.

Click here to download a PDF of the case study

Access to same product at significantly reduced cost

Part of our client’s business is to provide installation and maintenance of fire and intruder systems.

Although servicing and support is a major part of their business, like a number of maintenance groups the purchasing of product still accounts for a significant proportion of overall sales and therefore directly impacts the bottom line.

In a highly competitive market, we identified with our client that one route to enhance profit was to look at innovative buying for ‘non-complex’ product items that represented low risk in terms of alternative sourcing routes.

After an initial ‘at risk’ assessment and reaching agreement on how to proceed, our team of experts were provided with a full breakdown of the categories of spend, product details and buying profile of our client.

From this we undertook further analysis and market testing of product sourcing, not only in the UK but also in key overseas regions where we knew the quality of manufacturing existed to maintain compliance with UK and international standards.

As a result, we identified net savings in the region of 20–30% across a number of product lines after all costs of transportation and administration were accounted for.

This has enabled our client to immediately make significant improvements to their bottom-line results and to become more competitive in securing future growth.

Click here to download a PDF of the case study

Tactical support and project management of a deal

Our overseas client, who was highly versed in acquisitions and disposals, had identified a need for a bolt-on business in the UK to increase the geographic coverage of their existing company based in the North of England.

Whilst their own internal research had identified a number of targets, our own research and knowledge of the market added to this.

After an initial review, we were able to quickly draw up a shortlist of businesses to approach given the success criteria agreed and the scores applied to each company against those criteria. This gave us a clear priority list that the management agreed to.

From this, the internal team started to calculate potential offers and investment approvals while we conducted ‘on the ground’ face-to-face meetings with the potential sellers so we could assess the appetite to sell, key success factors and next steps.

We fed back results as we worked, but also consolidated these into a final report setting out all the businesses we approached and a revised priority list. The internal team used this to then agree their own priority list with their board.

Once the set of targets were approached, we then provided an independent project management role whereby we ensured that all parties were working to a common programme, that actions were progressed and key issues addressed in time.

We were also able to reduce ‘team tensions’ as our role was not advising on the deal or the financials.

Click here to download a PDF of the case study

A revised mid-term business plan and list of key targets

Our client is a successful project management and operations business with a strong reputation in high risk and business critical environments.

Whilst they have been successful over the years, their core business remains heavily reliant on a limited core set of clients and services provided. This limitation can at times expose them, so they considered diversifying the services they provide to generate other income streams.

Given the scale of the business, an in-house led assessment would have distracted them from their core business, so we were asked to help run a number of workshops with the aim of assessing how they could enter new markets.

We worked with leadership team to assess their options, current strengths and opportunities and to clarify their key objectives. This resulted in a number of options given the strong management team that our client had, but over the course of several workshops we reached consensus.

From this point we carried out a market review that identified a number of companies our client could acquire, which in turn led to an intensive assessment of which companies offered a best fit.

The outcome was that we agreed a revised business plan based on the findings from our market review and the options this presented our client.

At the same time, a number of external factors affected our client, and as a result our initial plan has become a ‘watching brief’ on the market until our client feels the time is right to acquire.

Click here to download a PDF of the case study

Off-market sale with key management retained

We were contacted by a group in a ‘distressed’ position who needed to move quickly and had concluded that a trade buyer was their best option given time pressures.

Our team quickly mobilised and undertook an initial review so that we understood the key operational issues affecting the business. We used our accountant to identify the main issues in the management accounts so we could verify this against our own findings.

From this we were able to identify what was required to rectify the problems facing the business, and then to assess which groups could address these and therefore carry out a successful purchase.

With our access to a range of senior executives, we quickly identified a group of potential buyers and arranged meetings under full confidentiality, enabling an off-market sale to take place. As a result, there was no negative impact on the operations, staff or clients.

In this way, our ability to undertake a business review and understand the potential buyers allowed us to ensure a smooth and successful sale.

Click here to download a PDF of the case study

Quick off-market disposal

Our client had invested in a non-core services business that had only just broken even for a number of years, but that now required further shareholder funds to maintain adequate cash-flow.

After an initial meeting with our client, we were able to provide a quick assessment as it had reached the point when further capital would have to be invested into the business; it was important for our client to understand his options so he could determine the level of commitment he could make.

Our analysis revealed that for the business to meet expectations, the capital injection required was substantially greater than expected and that further investment would also be needed very quickly given the changes needed to turn the business around.

Given our client’s other business priorities, we agreed on the more radical but appropriate alternative of an exit strategy for our client.

By identifying the key value sections within the business, we were able to approach potential buyers for whom these areas represented significant value, which resulted in a quick sale that achieved our client’s objectives.

Click here to download a pdf of the case study