Octopus Investments nets 2.5x return on AVM investment

Venture capital firm Octopus Investments has ended its interest in visual communications business AVM in a deal with Alcuin Capital.

Octopus Investments has exited from AVM and netted a 2.5x return to investors across its Eclipse Venture Capital Trust funds.

The deal is part of a management buy-out (MBO) of video conferencing and audiovisual company AVM, a transaction which is backed by Alcuin Capital.

The exit marks the end of a five-year investment period which started when Octopus injected £2.65 million into AVM back in September 2007 to support its original MBO.

According to Octopus, since then, the business has increased its turnover to £40 million from £7 million and has seen its employee count swell from 75 to 200.

As part of Octopus’ venture capital role, the firm has backed a number of ‘strategic’ acquisitions. In October 2007 AVM acquired AVE and followed it up by purchasing Matrix Display Systems in July 2008.

Following the deal, AVM’s chief executive Edward Cook will remain with the business under the support of Alcuin Capital.

Cook comments, ‘Octopus’ support has been integral to our success and we have both enjoyed and appreciated the ventures team’s straight talking approach and counsel.’

Jane Vinson, a member of Octopus’ ventures team, says, ‘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.’

Octopus Investments, which sat down with GrowthBusiness to talk exclusively about how to nurture a VC relationship, are focused on the UK and invest from £250,000 to £5 million. It currently has £2.5 billion in assets under management.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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