Octopus invests £2 million supporting the merger of Stortext FM and BOX-ITBedfordshire, United Kingdom (March 19, 2010) - Octopus Ventures (Octopus) today announced an investment of £2 million from the £30 million Octopus Capital for Enterprise Fund (OCfE) into BOX-IT, a UK wide document storage business. The investment will support the merger with Stortext FM Limited, a specialist electronic archiving and workflow solution company, to create a "one-stop-shop" provider of document management solutions in the UK.
BOX-IT is a growing physical document storage business serving the whole of the UK from its Winchester base and through an established network of franchise operations. The merger with Stortext will benefit from the cross-selling of integrated services to both existing and new customers, accelerating the growth potential. The enlarged group is well placed in this growing market, driven by the need for customers to increase efficiencies, drive down costs and comply with increasing regulation. The transaction was supported by debt funding from HSBC, Southampton.
Rupert Bell, Investment Director, Octopus Ventures, said: "BOX-IT has continued to grow over the past few years, demonstrating its resilience to the economic downturn, which is testament to the quality of its offering and management's focus and drive. The team identified Stortext, having partnered with them over the past few years, as a good strategic fit for its business and are excited about the prospects for growth. The investment from the Octopus Capital for Enterprise Fund has enabled the company to become a mid-market full service provider to the document management sector to rival larger competitors."
Simon McCowen, founder and executive chairman of BOX-IT, said: "We have built a successful UK-wide document storage business based on our consistent quality of service. The market has changed significantly over the past decade, and whilst paper storage will continue to grow through regulation, we see an opportunity to diversify into the growing electronic document management market. Stortext offers unique in-house technology with its award winning Omnidox product giving customers access to their electronic documents from anywhere in the world. Bringing the two businesses together cements our existing partnership and creates a unified full service provider. Octopus and Carabid have been instrumental in unlocking this opportunity for BOX-IT and we look forward to working with them through the next phase of growth."
Simon Ellis, Managing Director of BOX-IT, said: "This investment is great news for BOX-IT and Stortext FM, facilitating a transformational step for both businesses. Benefitting from the experience of a combined management team, we are working hard to ensure an efficient and smooth integration and are excited about the growth opportunities ahead of us."
Rupert Bell and Scott Barham led the deal on behalf of Octopus. Octopus' principal advisers were CMS Cameron McKenna (legal), CIL (commercial diligence), and BDO (financial diligence). Harry Dhand and Andrea Errington from Carabid provided corporate finance support to BOX-IT with legal advice from Paris Smith. Ben Knowles led the debt funding from HSBC.
To find out more about Stortext and their document management services, visit their website at http://www.stortext.com/ or telephone 01582 845 900
Established in 1983, Stortext have grown into industry leading providers of Business Process Outsource solutions which enable organisations to streamline their departments, deliver efficiency gains and often significantly cut costs. Specialising in Hosted Document Management and Outsourced Document Processing, they pride themselves on delivering high levels of service and longstanding clients include Virgin Atlantic Airways, O2 and Scottish and Newcastle.
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