Mitie beefs up security arm with Compass acquisition
Mitie has quickly deployed some of the cash from selling its pest control arm to one FTSE 100 group last week by snapping up a security services business from another blue chip giant.
As part of a strategy to propel its existing security arm into becoming "the largest intelligence- and technology-enabled security business in the UK", Mitie will spend £14m cash to acquire Vision Security Group from catering specialist Compass Group. Last week the company's coffers were boosted by the £40m sale of its pest control business to Rentokil.
Vision, which employees 6,000 staff at more than 1,400 locations, provides maned guarding and key-holding services and will be integrated into Mitie's Total Security Management business, which directors believe will help accelerate growth of its technology-enabled and intelligence-led security offering. The acquisition is expected to complete by the end of the month.
As part of Compass, Vision made a loss before tax of £2.7m on revenue of £192.1m for the year to 30 September 2017 but is expected to report "modest profitability" for its most recent 12-month period.
"As a core part of Mitie, our security business has delivered a strong performance over the last three years, with sales growing by over 30%. This acquisition gives us the leadership position we seek to maximise value from our technology-led solutions," said chief executive Phil Bentley.
As part of his transformation programme since taking over, Bentley has stressed that the highly competitive environment in the industry, especially around contract renewals, technology plays "an increasingly important part in differentiating our service delivery and improving margins".
Analysts have suggested that Mitie, which last year aborted an attempt to dispose of its property management business after failing to find a buyer willing to pay enough, could be looking to sell off its catering wing.