Turnaround and sale of specialist battery manufacturer
Accutronics is a battery manufacturer based in Newcastle-under-Lyme specialising in developing and assembling custom designed batteries for high-end global OEM businesses, primarily in the medical and military sectors.
Orbis as principal led a deal to acquire the trade and assets of the business from the administrative receiver, putting together an equity funding solution including the Managing Director, local industrialist Peter Jackson and Catapult Venture Managers. Orbis invested for a significant equity stake, with James Grenfell taking a seat on the board.
Orbis had been working with the Managing Director Rob Phillips for a number of months to secure a live deal with the Chinese state-owned vendor. However, an unwillingness to come to the table from the vendor led to a loss of confidence by the company’s funders in the Chinese company. They withdrew their facility, taking the business into administrative
Accutronics grew significantly during the six years Intrinsic Equity (the investment vehicle of Orbis Partners) were invested, generating a revenue of over £8m for the year ended August 2015. The strategic focus was directed on the medical sector and on the development of its own brand of products for value enhancement.
Following the successful growth of the business, Orbis helped to project manage the sale to a successful completion. This included working closely with the management team in preparing the business for exit, identifying global strategic buyers and negotiating the vehicle price for the shareholders.
The business was acquired by US-based Ultralife Corporation (NASDAQ: ULBI) for £7.6m. Headquartered in Newark, New York, Ultralife Corporation (NASDAQ:ULBI) sells products ranging from portable power solutions to communications and electronics systems. The Company has operations in North America, Europe and Asia and supplies primarily into the military and commercial markets.
Acquiring Accutronics advances our strategy of commercial revenue diversification and expands our geographic reach within European OEM’s. With industry experts predicting mid to high single digit growth in the global medical batteries market, this strategic investment positions Ultralife well for further penetration of and growing revenue streams from attractive commercial markets.