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Livingbridge Announces Investment in Connectivity and IoT Specialist North and follow on acquisition of Data Techniques

  • Related sector Technology
  • Investment status Current
  • Related company North
Livingbridge, one of the UK’s leading mid-market private equity investors, is pleased to announce the investment into North SP Group (North) and follow on acquisition of Data Techniques.

North is a highly technical integrated technology specialist delivering end-to-end networking and IoT application design, implementation, support, and managed services throughout the UK. North prides itself on driving innovation and leading the industry in adoption of emerging technologies. Led by CEO, Glen Williams, North has over 270 staff, of which around 160 provide technical services.

North specialises in the provision of connectivity within complex environments where multiple layers of connectivity are required (e.g. Wi-Fi, IoT, 5G etc). The necessity of the services offering combined with the firm’s unique level of network architecture capability and end-to-end proposition has enabled it to build long-term, multi-year partnerships with a portfolio of blue-chip partners, including Aruba, Cisco and Nokia. North pioneered a ground-breaking pilot with the latter in February 2021, which will see 5G technology deployed in an operational automotive environment for the very first time in the UK.

North’s partnerships also extend to the public sphere. In 2018, the Scottish Government announced plans for a national Internet of Things (IoT) network – the most advanced in the UK – and appointed North to design and deliver the project, providing the infrastructure for companies and organisations to tap into smart sensor applications. More recently, North undertook a large-scale Intelligent lighting project with Aberdeen City Council to replace the city’s existing legacy street lighting with a LoRaWAN IoT network and Central Management System (CMS) based Intelligent Lighting solution.

Data Techniques offers a similar service proposition and end-to-end capabilities as North and its customers largely comprise complex and technologically complex environments including cloud infrastructure.
The acquisition of Data Techniques by North will enable the combined businesses to operate a national network of highly technical engineers covering the design, build, maintenance, and monitoring of end-to-end IoT solutions and services, becoming a ‘one stop shop’ for customers as they digitise their estates and buildings.

The investment, made through the GBP 1.2 billion Livingbridge 7 fund, builds on Livingbridge’s strong heritage in networking and connectivity businesses including Cablecom, M247, Southern Communications, FluidOne and more recently Welltel.

Matthew Caffrey at Livingbridge, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with North, a business with a unique breadth and depth of expertise across the IoT, networking and connectivity, and safety and security, and with a clear potential for growth. We are excited to work with CEO Glen Williams and his experienced management team to develop North’s strong capabilities and consolidate a fragmented industry through further M&A to better service the rapidly growing intelligent buildings and smart cities market.”

Glen Williams, CEO at North, commented:

“We are thrilled to be entering the next stage of our growth journey with Livingbridge. Their strong track-record in investing in networking and field services businesses and in implementing successful M&A strategies make them the perfect partner in fast-tracking our growth. We are also delighted that Data Techniques will be joining the North business as their complementary strengths and key differentiators substantially strengthen our position in the market.”

Nick Crosby, Managing Director of Data Techniques commented: “The team at Data Techniques are delighted to be joining the North business. Our two businesses are highly complementary. Together we create a UK wide business of significant critical mass with deep experience and capability across multiple sectors and services. “