Wick Hill gets private equity backing for international expansion plans

Wick Hill is looking to expand across EMEA and move from a two-country model having got the backing of Rigby Private Equity

Anyone who operates in the security space will be familiar with the name Wick Hill and will also be aware that the distributor operates out of two countries, the UK and Germany.

But not for much longer, as the channel player has reached out for some finance to help it expand throughout Europe and the Middle East.

The nuts and bolts of the deal is that Rigby Private Equity has taken a significant investment in Wick Hill and will take a seat on the board.

There is no time limit on the investment and the timing of the expansion plans but Wick Hill chairman Ian Kilpatrick said that there would be some evidence of changes happening fairly soon.

The Rigby Private Equity operation, the private equity arm of Rigby group Investments, has done its research on Wick Hill and believes that the current management team have been punching well above their weight but needed to take it to the next level.

"Wick Hill have shown that it can compete with a two country model and we want to take that model than has been so successful [and expand it]," said Paul Eccleston, head of Rigby Private Equity.

Kilpatrick said that it had come under some pressure from vendors to offer more geographical coverage and had also felt that it could have struck some relationships with other firms had it been serving EMEA.

"We want to grow our business for our vendors and our customers," he added "We were under no business pressure to do anything it has been our own strategic decision to continue the growth and develop it."

"There will be evidence that things are taking place but I am not going to reveal the exact timing," he added.

Kilpatrick said that it had been able to establish itself as a major player in distribution despite being up against competitors that were all able to lean on the sales coming in across EMEA.

"Our competitors are generally pan-EMEA and that's who we are competing against and we have been successful competing with a two-territory footprint," he said.

Apart from a board member joining from Rigby Private Equity there will be no other changes to the existing Wick Hill operations.

Eccleston said that the current management team had built the business, established its credentials and already delivered success and it would not be changing that formula.

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