Management teams have faced innumerable challenges and disruption in 2020, and collaboration and support has been vital to weathering the storm.
Supporting our portfolio, alongside our colleagues, has been our top priority throughout Covid-19 – ensuring our portfolio businesses emerge from the pandemic in a position to thrive, as well as continuing to support and invest in strategic growth and value creation opportunities.
Investing in the future
Our partnership with Orbis Protect is a perfect example of where we have continued to support the value creation plan during lockdown. The business has made strong progress since our investment – continuing to launch new products and services, maximising operational efficiencies and growing their customer base. This progress put Orbis Protect in a position to acquire Glasgow-based 360-degree CCTV tower provider Optosafe – even in the middle of a global pandemic. The acquisition gives Orbis Protect increased scale and the ability to offer new services to new and existing clients as demands for additional products continue to increase.
Similarly, game testing and publishing companies Testronic and Curve Digital, both part of the Catalis Group, acquired QA and customer support company Whyttest and independent games developer IronOak Games respectively. These international acquisitions expand both businesses’ global footprints, and the increase in headcount helps the business to grow their market presence at a time when the gaming industry is rapidly growing. As a result, the entire Catalis Group is set to emerge from the pandemic in a stronger position than before.
Meanwhile, our support for Future Industrial Services in their strategic acquisition of Neston Environmental Services saw the business acquire two DISAB tanks and a wide range of specialist industrial equipment to futureproof the business and improve its services for its customers.
Similar strategic investment and support was provided to Clearly Drinks. We helped to connect them with the wider NorthEdge portfolio and experts that provided guidance throughout the pandemic, as well as supporting with a multi-million-pound investment to provide new state-of-the-art canning capabilities. This will help the business continue to improve its sustainability, while further strengthening its product offering.
These examples all demonstrate how our value creation model, underpinned by continued investment in people and growth, provides the support needed to build on strong business foundations.
Working with NorthEdge
Whether it’s through a turbulent period or business as usual our commitment to supporting our portfolio businesses never wavers. We want to inspire and challenge our portfolio businesses and teams to reach new heights through value creation, and this approach has only been amplified in 2020.
To find out more about how we work with our portfolio, watch our video to see some of our portfolio business leaders give their perspective on the way we worked together during the pandemic.
Supporting our communities
Despite the challenges the pandemic has brought, Covid has, in many ways, renewed society’s sense of community. From the weekly ‘clap for carers’ to the swathes of rainbow drawings adorning the windows of our homes thanking the NHS, lockdown saw communities rally together in ways not seen in decades. Businesses have been at the heart of this movement too.
Working with communities is a hugely important part of day-to-day business for NorthEdge and across our portfolio – Covid has done nothing but highlight this further.
We recognised the incredible contribution of community organisations, independent foodbanks and those serving the homeless have made, day in and day out, on the front line – particularly during the pandemic. As part of this commitment our team donated to three chosen charities, Helping Hands of Birmingham, Greater Together Manchester, and The Leeds Fund, to help support our regional communities through such a difficult period. We have also worked with Business in the Community to donate our old phones to Disability Stockport keeping them connected, donated a number of COVID testing kits to the Nightingale Hospitals and provided meals for NHS workers as our way of saying ‘thank you’.
Our portfolio company Clearly Drinks has also continued to support their local food banks, hospitals and charities by donating bottles of Perfectly Clear, while also teaming up with Blueline taxis to distribute local produce during the lockdown to those who couldn’t leave their homes. Meanwhile, Abbey Logistics worked to maximise the wellbeing of all their front-line workers by providing healthy food packages as well as committing to a recognition payment at the end of the year.
A number of our portfolio businesses have also supported the efforts to safeguard the healthcare of the public. Belfield supported the NHS, supplying up to 75,000 gowns per week in the height of the pandemic to stem the PPE crisis, and Orbis Protect has worked with Changing Lives, an award-winning charity offering accommodation for the homeless and those facing domestic abuse, putting the organisation’s skills to good use by offering their infection control fogging service for free at 12 of the charity’s premises – allowing them to continue their invaluable services throughout the pandemic.
We are proud that our team’s ongoing support for our portfolio businesses has helped management teams keep focussed on their growth plans at the same time as steering their business through the pandemic, and that our teams have continued to support a number of well-deserving community projects along the way.