Suffolk-based i2N was founded in 1999. It provides a range of SaaS-based products, covering the management of prisoner interventions, evidence, education, hearings, case management, and body worn video camera data. It also offers hosting and managed services, including secure service desks and secure operation centres; as well as a range of professional services, such as software development, solution architecture and consultancy.
NPS, a wholly owned subsidiary of the NEC Corporation, Japan, is the market leader for policing IT solutions in the UK with 15 forces currently using NPS’ crime, custody and intelligence management system, CONNECT. Recent contract wins with West Midlands Police and the Metropolitan Police Service mean that over 50% of police officers in England will be using NPS technology.
The i2N acquisition presents an opportunity for greater visibility across the criminal justice system enabling users throughout the process to work collaboratively to deliver better outcomes and reduce reoffending. The deal will significantly increase NPS’ offering across the entire criminal justice process.
The deal fits with NPS’ strategy of shifting its business toward SaaS and recurring revenue models. It already has a strong position in operational policing and the acquisition of i2N should allow it to build its proposition in the adjacent justice sector. Here it will be able to draw on the knowledge in NEC, where offender management is a focus of its Public Safety business. Synergies also exist between NPS and i2N in local government and the businesses will be looking at opportunities for i2N’s case management platform amongst youth offending teams in this sector.
This is only the second acquisition NPS has made since 2007. The other being the small bolt-on purchase of Health Information Systems (UK) Ltd in March 2017.
Stephen Callaghan, chief executive officer of NPS, which is owned by the NEC Corporation, Japan, said, “We see a good synergy between NPS and i2N in the area of local authority youth offender management. NPS provides a range of product and services to 168 local authorities in the UK. This acquisition will boost our offer in the important justice sector whilst providing a strong opportunity for growth for i2N.”
Jim O’Connor, CEO of i2N said, “Joining the NPS team opens up new and exciting markets for both businesses in the development of critical software that spans the entire justice sector.”
Founded in 1999, i2N is ranked in the top 25 SME IT service providers on the government G-Cloud by Government Digital service and is a key supplier to the Ministry of Justice. In recent years, i2N has been expanding cloud ready platforms as Software as a Service (SaaS) via G-Cloud on the GOV.UK Digital Market Place.
Following completion of the transaction, i2N will continue to operate under their existing name and the key management team and all operational staff will remain in place. i2N will operate as a business unit within NPS’ Safety Division with further integration into the business as customers’ requirements for integrated software and services within the justice system develop.
i2N supplies specialist software to the UK’s Ministry of Justice and Youth Justice Board. Founded in 1999, it is ranked in the top 25 SME IT service providers on the government G-Cloud by the Government Digital Service, and is a key supplier to the Ministry of Justice. In recent years, i2N has been expanding cloud ready platforms as Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings via G-Cloud on the GOV.UK Digital Marketplace.
After several years of successful growth, the Shareholders decided in 2017 to review acquisition and incorporation into a larger entity as an option to facilitate the next stage in the development of i2N. We were particularly concerned to find the right partner and, if a match was not available, to continue to expand within our specialist government sector. Our priority was exhaustive but discreet research to find the right potential acquirer, already operating in our sector but not directly competing, with the synergies to complement and enhance the i2N offering. After careful research and review of references we engaged Rockworth Management Partners.
Tom Boardman-Weston led the research phase and generated a large list of potentials buyers with some interesting options that we had not initially considered. The Rockworth approach ensured that we were looking at companies we could be confident had a genuine interest in the transaction without revealing exactly who was looking. Once we had narrowed the list down to the few companies that we felt we would be happy to work with, Tom and Lawrence Price agreed non-disclosures and facilitated discreet initial meetings with them. This led to a short-list that fitted our criteria and were interested in a potential transaction with i2N. After initial negotiations we decided that our preference was to proceed with Northgate Public Services (NPS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Japanese multinational NEC Corporation. They are the market leader for policing IT solutions in the UK with 15 forces currently using NPS’ crime, custody and intelligence management system, CONNECT and over 50% of police officers in England using NPS technology. This perfectly complemented our Ministry of Justice customer base creating opportunities for both companies so we agreed exclusivity and Lawrence negotiated a deal structure that worked for both parties. The due diligence process was completed in two months with Rockworth and Penningtons Marches supporting the i2N team and the transaction was successfully concluded by the target year-end date. Particular thanks to Zuzana Valkovic who supported the i2N team throughout the due diligence process and helped enormously in the development and validation of the financial data.
We are very happy with the outcome and looking forward to continuing to provide innovative products to our customers across the justice sector of government as a part of the NPS family and more than happy to recommend the services of Rockworth Management Partners.
Jim O’Connor, CEO and co-founder