80 ‘high class’ acquisition targets named in latest Plimsoll Publishing Report on guarding sector

Traditionally, a typical acquisition strategy revolves around acquirers looking for a cut-price deal by preying on struggling and vulnerable businesses. The UK’s security guarding sector is no different. However, new research into the financial health of the sector conducted by leading business analyst Plimsoll Publishing suggests this particular tactic needs to change over the next 18 months.

Plimsoll’s latest report into the largest 584 security guarding companies operating in the UK has identified 80 ‘high class’ acquisition targets which would enable prospective new owners to move into growing and highly profitable areas of the market.

Despite the fact these categories of companies are likely to cost a premium, the ‘high class’ targets offer potential investors a real opportunity to strengthen their position in the market and allow the company to continue on its upward trajectory.

14 of these companies are highly profitable (ie the businesses offer the chance to move into a profitable area of the market and, by dint of being privately owned, could make negotiations less arduous) while six companies are growing at a rate of over 10%. These companies are among some of the most successful in the market.

Plimsoll Publishing’s senior analyst, David Pattison, stated: “It’s a long-standing debate. When considering an acquisition, should a company determine to buy cheap or aim for high value? In reality, most people’s idea of an acquisition is to wait until the business has declined so far, meaning the only option is for a new owner to come in and save the company – essentially spending peanuts. However, we feel this approach needs to change. The acquisition strategy should be based on the direction of the current market. By acquiring a successful business, it gives both the company concerned and its new owners a chance to add new investment and further cement their position in the market, while the current owners may feel they’ve taken the business as far as they can.”

Plimsoll Publishing’s latest study also reveals that 252 companies have been rated as ‘Strong’, 77 businesses have lost a third of their value and 161 firms are currently making a loss.

*The Plimsoll Publishing Security Security Sector Analysis is available to buy by clicking here

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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