Buyout sealed at Glasgow-based covert operation software firm Altia-ABM: John Boyle stepping down

High-profile entrepreneur John Boyle is to step down as chairman of Altia-ABM, the Scottish software specialist that he has invested in, following a private equity-backed buyout.

John Boyle, who will step down as chairman of the Glasgow-based firm, invested in the business in 2003 with founders Ian Watson and Rodney Orr.

The firm, which has operations in Glasgow and Nottingham, develops specialist investigation software for government departments and law enforcement agencies in the UK, Canada and Australia. It has built up a customer base in 17 countries.

Private equity outfit NorthEdge has backed the primary management buyout of the business, led by Altia-ABM chief executive Rob Sinclair.

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Boyle, who will step down as chairman, invested in the business in 2003 with founders Ian Watson and Rodney Orr.

NorthEdge investment director Kevin O’Loughlin will join the Altia-ABM board at completion, with Simon Hook joining as chairman and Matt Duckhouse as non-executive director.

Boyle said: “We have built the company into an international leader, respected by police forces, governments and tax authorities around the world. It is a Scottish success story in a very challenging business climate and we firmly believe the group will go from strength to strength as a result of this tremendous investment by NorthEdge.”

Sinclair, who joined the company in 2017, said: “We’re an ambitious business and we’re proud of our success so far. Our proposition is continuously expanding to meet the ever-changing digital landscape and having an investment partner like NorthEdge ensures we can build on that even further.”

O’Loughlin added: “The business’ track record, long-term customer relationships and its proven resilience during the Covid-19 pandemic quickly demonstrated to us that this is a business with growth embedded into its core, operating in an attractive market.

“This is a really exciting partnership for NorthEdge and Altia-ABM, and we are looking forward to supporting Rob and the team with their exciting growth plans over the coming years.”

NorthEdge said its support would help the business expand both organically and through “strategic” acquisitions of companies with complementary technologies and customers.

NorthEdge was advised by KPMG (corporate finance and financial due diligence), Graph (customer due diligence), Pinsent Masons (legal) and Crosslake (tech due diligence).

Altia-ABM was advised by Aequitas (corporate finance) and Vialex (legal), while Browne Jacobson advised management.

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The Big Interview: Rob Sinclair, chief executive of Altia-ABM

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