The North West Fund for Venture Capital

Sale of property security specialist provides exit for Mercia

Secure Empty Property (SEP) – a Lancashire-based business that provides specialist security services to landlords and site owners – has been acquired by The Clearway Group for an undisclosed sum.

The sale provides an exit for Mercia Ventures and its client fund, the North West Fund for Venture Capital, which backed SEP at its inception in 2012.

SEP offers a 24-hour security and management service for vacant sites and property, covering everything from installing metal security shutters and alarms to manned guarding and site clearance. Based in Haslingden and with operations in Northampton and Reading, it serves clients throughout the UK including landlords, property agents, pubs, retailers and insolvency practitioners.

The deal will secure the jobs of its 25-strong team and enable founder and CEO Simon Broadbent to realise his investment in the business, though he will continue to work with the business on a consultancy basis. Mercia invested over £1m in total from the North West Fund for Venture Capital in SEP in three separate funding rounds, and has achieved a significant return on investment.

Headquartered in London, Clearway is a leading commercial security services provider specialising in protecting people, property and assets employing over 350 people and with operations across the UK and France.

Peter Eglinton, Clearway’s Executive Chairman, said: “We are very pleased to welcome the Secure Empty Property team into Clearway. It offers us the perfect solution to expand our geographical reach and capabilities within the vacant property security side of our business. It will enable us to not only provide more support and solutions to our existing customers but also expand our customer base and continue to ensure a high-level of service. We look forward to this acquisition supporting our strategy for growth.”

Simon Broadbent, SEP founder and CEO, commented: “Having spent over 10 years building a successful business, finding the right partner to ensure we continue our success was important and we have found that in Clearway. SEP and Clearway are a good fit, and this move will be beneficial to not only the staff but also our combined customer base.”

Will Clark, Managing Director of Mercia Ventures, said: “Secure Empty Property has established a strong track record since its launch just over ten years ago. The deal will open up new opportunities for its growth as part of a wider group, while enabling Clearway to expand its footprint in the North of England.”