Ubisense gets busy on AIM

Location services business Ubisense has made its first acquisition of a UK company since it listed on AIM in June, with the purchase of Realworld OO Systems.

The geospatial location consultancy is being acquired for £2.4 million, with its blue-chip customer base, including Cable & Wireless and Global Crossing, the primary attraction for Ubisense, which aims to increase its presence in the UK.

Speaking to M&A Deals last month, chief executive officer of Cambridge-headquartered Ubisense, Richard Green, said the principal reason for joining AIM was to raise funds to secure growth for the business.

He added: ‘We are looking at some targets now [that] we have access to capital. That has historically been a challenging thing to do with a fairly thin balance sheet.’

Under the terms of the deal for Realworld, a cash consideration of £1.25 million is due on completion with a performance-based payment of £1.15 million payable over the next two years.

The deal is the second for Ubisense in the past week following its $700,000 (£453,000) acquisition for US-based geospatial business Integrated Mapping Services, as part of its strategy to move into new markets.

According to a statement, Realworld’s consultants have ‘considerable’ expertise in location services, which fits well with Ubisense’s capabilities.

Green comments: ‘Realworld are very well known to us, being located within the same building as our Cambridge operation.

‘We will be able to utilise their skills to expand our existing team and support our customers such as Mini, Aston Martin, Airbus and BAE.’

For the year to date 31 March 2011, Realworld had reported revenues of £2.8 million and a net loss of £100,000, while Ubisense’s maiden half-year results posted a revenue increase of 41 per cent to £11.3 million.

Todd Cardy

Todd Cardy

Todd was Editor of GrowthBusiness.co.uk between 2010 and 2011 as well as being responsible for publishing our digital and printed magazines focusing on private equity and venture capital.

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