Octopus generates 2.5x return for investors through AVM Ltd exit

Octopus generates 2.5x return for investors through AVM Ltd exit

Octopus’ investment in AVM has been realised as part of a secondary management buyout backed by Alcuin Capital.

Octopus invested £2.65 million in AVM through its Eclipse VCT funds in September 2007, to support the management team in an MBO. Since then the business has gone from strength to strength achieving significant growth and market share. Its turnover has increased to £40 million from £8 million in 2007 and it has more than trebled its number of employees from 75 to over 200.

Since 2007, the business has made a number of successful strategic acquisitions including AVE in October 2007 and Matrix Display Systems in July 2008. These acquisitions enabled AVM to consolidate its position in the market, considerably expanding its operations and offering a compelling service proposition to large corporates.

Established in 1990, the company now provides a complete range of video conferencing and audio visual services to the private and public sectors. The impressive portfolio of blue chip clients that the business has developed reinforces AVM’s position as a leading player in the AV market.

Octopus’ exit has been timed to ensure AVM’s continued growth and success under its new owner Alcuin Capital as the business looks to develop into new areas. AVM’s Chief Executive Edward Cook will remain with the business as it continues to pursue growth opportunities with the support of Alcuin Capital.

Commenting on the exit, Jane Vinson, a member of Octopus’ ventures team, said: “AVM is a tremendous business supported by an impressive management team. At Octopus our venture capital investment is aligned to our strong investment philosophy of backing people and teams rather than specific sectors or businesses. In 2007 AVM was an exciting investment for us not only because of its high margin and cash-generative business model, but because of its strong leadership. This remains the case today and the company has shown itself to be very effective at maintaining its core services while effectively implementing an acquisitive growth strategy.

“While the AV sector continues to expand, with demand for AV services remaining high, we feel that now is the right time to hand over the reins to a new owner. We are proud to have worked with the team at AVM to deliver such great success over the last five years and we wish the business and its people all the best for the future.”

Edward Cook, CEO at AVM, added: “Octopus’s support has been integral to our success and we have both enjoyed and appreciated the ventures team’s straight talking approach and counsel. Demand for AV market products continues to increase as AV technology becomes more robust and easier to use. We are looking forward to building on the successes we have achieved to date supported by the strong foundations for further growth that we established with Octopus’ support.”