Business Growth Fund invests in IPO firm Calnex

Paddy Graham, head of BGF's Edinburgh office

The UK’s Business Growth Fund (BGF) has announced it is investing in Linlithgow-based telecoms firm Calnex Solutions plc, which said on Monday it is aiming to raise £22.5 million through a London initial public offering (IPO).

Calnex said the AIM listing, planned for October 5, will value the company at £42 million.

“Calnex designs and makes equipment that tests the performance of telecom network infrastructure for customers including BT, Ericsson, Nokia and Facebook,” said BGF.

“To date, Calnex has secured and delivered orders from over 600 customer sites in 68 countries across the world. 

“The telecoms industry is currently experiencing unprecedented levels of change because of major trends including the migration of the mobile networks to 5G, the emergence of the Internet of Things and the shift to using cloud computing. 

“Calnex has a strong financial track record, delivering historical revenue CAGR since FY15 of approximately 16 per cent. The company is profitable and cash generative, with a record order backlog going into FY21 and a strong sales pipeline.  

“The funds raised through the IPO, along with the company’s existing cash resources, will allow Calnex to invest in business development and R&D resource, repay its existing debt facility and evaluate opportunities to acquire complementary technologies or businesses to accelerate the company’s growth.”

Calnex founder and CEO Tommy Cook said: “We are delighted to announce our proposed placing and admission to AIM and grateful for the support from our existing and new investors, such as BGF.

“The move onto the public markets will provide us with new capital, a raised profile and enhanced ability to execute on acquisitions, as we seek to capture an increased share of the growing market for telecoms test solutions. “

Paddy Graham, head of BGF’s Edinburgh office, said: “This investment into Calnex illustrates the strength of BGF’s regional presence and breadth of offering, with our Scottish investors working closely alongside BGF’s Quoted team in London to support the proposed listing.

“We have built a relationship with Tommy and the management team over a number of years and have watched the significant progress they have made, particularly around international expansion, R&D and successful bolt on acquisitions.

“We are very much looking forward to partnering with the company and supporting its growth ambitions.”  

Paul Stevens, a member of BGF’s Quoted team said: “Having first met the business a number of years ago, BGF has followed the exceptional progress achieved by an innovative and entrepreneurial management team.

“The proposed listing and admission to AIM is a significant milestone for the company as it enters the next phase of its growth journey.”