Livingstone’s Industrial sector team has advised the shareholders of Cursor Controls on its sale to AIM-listed discoverIE Group plc, a leading international designer, manufacturer, and supplier of customized electronics. The group, comprising Cursor Controls, and its Belgian subsidiary, NSI, is a designer and manufacturer of Human to Machine Interface (“HMI”) products for medical, industrial and transportation applications and has been acquired for an initial cash consideration of £19.0m on a debt free, cash free basis. In addition, contingent consideration of up to £4.0m will be payable subject to achieving certain profit growth targets during the three year period ending 31 December 2021.
Cursor’s products, which comprise trackballs, touchpads, and ruggedized keyboards, are custom-designed for specific applications and are highly complementary to discoverIE’s existing business. The acquisition is consistent with discoverIE’s strategic focus on structural growth markets with over 60% of its revenues derived from medical and industrial sectors. Over 90% of its sales are to international markets, with 40% being in the US, Asia and other non-EU markets.
The business, which is based in Newark, UK, with manufacturing facilities in the UK and Belgium, will operate within the Group’s Design & Manufacturing division while retaining its distinct brand identity. The business has grown strongly over recent years, with revenues for the year ended 31 December 2017 of £7.9m generating an EBITDA of £2.3m. The Cursor management team led by current Managing Director, Neale Sutton, were supported in an MBO by Maven Capital Partners in 2015. Since that point, the acquisition of NSI was completed and the business has grown strongly, expanding its international reach.
Neale Sutton, Managing Director of Cursor Controls, commented: “I cannot speak highly enough of Graham, Tom and the rest of the Livingstone team. They proved an incredibly supportive and committed partner throughout the entire process, demonstrating an impressive knowledge of our market and delicately balancing the interests of each stakeholder group to ultimately deliver the best possible outcome.”
Mike Collis, Maven Capital Partners, said: “The sale of Cursor is an excellent return for both our VCT shareholders and our Investor Partner network which co-invested to fund the original MBO. Since then, Neale and his senior management team have continued to build upon the company’s global reputation in the market for technical expertise and innovation and Cursor is widely regarded as a leader in its field. We have enjoyed working with the team from Livingstone as they have been professional, diligent and highly supportive to all the stakeholders throughout the marketing, negotiation and completion process.”
Graham Carberry, Partner at Livingstone, commented: “We’re delighted and proud to have had the opportunity to work with Neale, Nick, Freddy and the wider teams at Cursor Controls, NSI and Maven on this process. They have built an extraordinarily impressive business with a fantastic culture of innovation and constant quality improvement which is trusted by global OEMs across absolutely the most critical applications. discoverIE’s focus on high value electronics applications is an ideal fit and we are hopeful that this deal will only enhance the future growth of Cursor.”
Tom Smith, Associate Director at Livingstone added: “We’re extremely pleased to have helped deliver this result for the team at Cursor Controls. The development of the business since Maven backed the MBO in 2015 has been remarkable and stands testament to the drive and commitment of everyone involved. We look forward to seeing the business continue to develop by leveraging discoverIE’s extensive global footprint and client base.”
This transaction marks the sixth technical manufacturing transaction for Livingstone’s UK Industrial sector team in the last 12 months and is the 21st industrial transaction completed by the global industrial team – including Precision Micro, Smiths Group plc, HEL Group, and RaySpec.