Pounds 1m to Probe the Market

The Birmingham Post (England), January 21, 2010 | Go to article overview

Pounds 1m to Probe the Market


Catapult Venture Managers has invested pounds 1 million in a firm developing a range of sensor probes that will help water utilities make significant cost savings.

Catapult has committed the funding to Intellitect Water Holdings and has also introduced a new non-executive director, Peter Bridge, to the company.

Intellitect's innovative technology will enable the water industry to have access for the first time to real-time online monitoring of water quality within its network distribution pipes and measure chlorine without the need for chemicals or membranes.

The firm, which runs its sales operation from Worcestershire, claims its technology will enable substantial savings to be made on water testing evaluation at a time when the water utilities are searching for operational improvements due to price capping from the water regulator OFWAT.

Catapult investment director Ray Harris said: "The Intellitect devices are currently being trialed with a number of large water utilities and the feedback is very positive.

"The UK market for its products is estimated to be worth around pounds 200 million and pounds 3 billion worldwide. "The company has a very strong management team led by chief executive Tony Halker and includes chairman Roy Pointer, former chief executive of Anglian Water and non-executive director Bob Baty, a former chief executive of South West Water."

Mr Halker said the firm was pleased to welcome Catapult as a new and major shareholder.

"This investment is part of a pounds 2 million fund raising that includes investment by our existing major shareholders, Credit Suisse and Pemberstone Group.

"The investment will enable the business to further increase production capability while increasing sales coverage on a global basis."

Mr Harris added: "Early sales indicate water companies are becoming increasingly aware of the product ranges' potential ability to help them achieve significant operational cost savings, as well as demonstrate to OFWAT that they are taking a pro-active approach to water monitoring.

"The core sensor is based around the measurement of chlorine, although the sensor housing has continued to be developed to measure up to 12 different parameters."

M3 advises on pounds 3.5m deal The Birmingham office of M3 Corporate Finance has advised a management team on the pounds 3.5 million management buyin of the specialist products division of information security firm Clearswift.

The all-equity deal, which was carried out through a new company called Deep-Secure, was made possible with funding from private equity firm YFM Group.

The management team was led by chief executive Kieron Sambrook-Smith and chairman Richard Beaton, who were board members through the sale of the government security-based software business Boldon James to QinetiQ in October 2007.

Since 2001, the business has built up a reputation as an email product provider for defence and government security around the world.

These customers require the hardware platform, operating system, application firewall and mail guard to be evaluated under internationally-recognised criteria, requiring very special levels of security knowledge and development expertise.

The management buyin will enable further technological development of the cutting-edge products.

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