Cyberhawk Innovations Limited (Cyberhawk), the world leader in delivering drone inspections and asset visualisation software for energy infrastructure, has been acquired by funds advised by Magnesium Capital LLP (Magnesium).
Cyberhawk is recognised internationally as a pioneer in the high-growth unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) inspection market. The company has flown more than 30,000 commercial missions in more than 30 countries around the world. Many of its UAV world firsts have been successfully commercialised and widely adopted across industrial sectors.
More recently, Cyberhawk has developed cloud-based, AI-enabled visual asset management software known as iHawk, which uses high resolution imagery to digitise industrial infrastructure assets. From condition monitoring to 3D visualisation to site construction progress, iHawk is already supporting multiple energy multinationals as they look to embed industry 4.0 in their organisations.
Cyberhawk currently employs 60 people, including UAV pilots, inspection engineers, surveyors and software developers, and is headquartered near Edinburgh, UK. In 2017, the company added to its international bases in Abu Dhabi and Kuala Lumpur with the opening of a Houston office, a significant milestone in Cyberhawk’s ambitious US growth plans.
The transaction facilitates a full exit for the existing institutional investors, Scottish Equity Partners and Scottish Investment Bank, as well as providing additional growth capital to fund further stages of software development and US expansion. Equity finance was provided by funds managed by BMO Global Asset Management and advised by Magnesium; debt finance by Clydesdale Bank’s Growth Finance Team, the existing lenders to the company. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Cyberhawk CEO Chris Fleming said: “Over the last ten years, with the support of Scottish Equity Partners and the Scottish Investment Bank, our team has not only built a thriving, profitable business, but has played a critical role in the creation and digitisation of the entire UAV inspection industry. We are extremely proud to have established a globally renowned reputation and to be relied upon by many of the world’s largest energy companies.
“This next phase of growth is a very exciting time for the business. We see a huge opportunity in the US market, a region in which we are already using our credentials and mature, trusted UAV data capture solutions as a springboard for growth. Another important area of development is iHawk. Through continuing to work with end users to create high value digital solutions, which address the industry challenges and needs that actually exist, we intend to cut through the noise of what is fast-becoming a crowded marketplace.
“In Magnesium, we have found a partner who has a deep understanding of our core markets and provides Cyberhawk with the financial firepower to pursue strategic merger and acquisition activity, consolidating what today remains a fragmented sector.”
Magnesium’s managing partner Ian Jones, who joins the board of Cyberhawk, said: “Chris and his team have positioned Cyberhawk at the forefront of innovations in the UAV inspection market, revolutionising the way clients can visualise and manage critical asset information in order to improve planning and decision-making. We look forward to working with the business through its next phase of growth as it further develops its technology and software solutions.”
Andrew Carnwath, director in the private equity team of BMO Global Asset Management, also joins the board of Cyberhawk. He said: “We have followed Cyberhawk’s impressive growth for some time and are excited to work with Magnesium to support management’s ambitious expansion plans.”
David Sneddon, partner at SEP commented: “Since our first investment in Cyberhawk in 2011, the company has grown revenue at over 30% CAGR and developed its software and operational capabilities across the Middle East, Far East and USA. We are delighted to have played our part in Cyberhawk’s success to date and look forward to charting the company’s future growth under its new ownership.”
Kerry Sharp, director of the Scottish Investment Bank, added: “Cyberhawk has achieved strong international growth from its Scottish base in recent years and following our initial investment in 2010. Magnesium’s investment is an endorsement of Cyberhawk’s innovative technology and experienced management team and we look forward to working further with the business, through Scottish Enterprise’s many support mechanisms, as it continues to develop and grow in the future.”
BMO Global Asset Management was advised by Magnesium; financial diligence for the purchasers was provide by Ernst Young, legal advice by Burness Paull and technical diligence by Intuitus. The vendors were advised by Acuity with accounting advice from EQ Accountants and legal advice from Thorntons.