Complete Detection Systems Limited - KBS Corporate

Complete Detection Systems Limited

Complete Detection Systems Limited, based in Leicestershire, designs, supplies, installs and maintains a wide range of life safety systems and productions. The company was established in 1988 and over the years has developed a wide-reaching customer base including clients both in the UK and overseas. Martin Iliffe and Tony Mikunda instructed KBS Corporate with the sale of their business in order to begin steps towards their retirement plans.

KBS Corporate implemented a diverse research strategy with a primary focus on identifying a UK trade buyer operating within the fire safety sector. Synergy sectors, including electrical safety and testing, security, health and safety, water safety and compliance businesses, were also explored in order to generate and present to our clients a wider choice of potential deal structures.

KBS Corporate generated no less than 30 expressions of interest in CDS from trade buyers due to our existing network of registered acquirers and our contacts within a sector in which we are highly experienced. Complete Detection Systems Limited also attracted interest from Private Equity firms who wished to diversify their portfolios, MBI teams and private investors. KBS Corporate utilised this high level of interest to generate three highly competitive offers. The eventual offer came from an MBI team consisting of two individuals with previous M&A experience and an established specialism within the sector.

Managing director Simon Abley commented, 

“This is an exciting time for the CDS business, and I look forward to working with Simon, Martin, Tony and the team to continue to build the business, both organically and by further acquisitions over the years to come.

“The fire detection and life safety systems market, indeed the compliance services sector generally, is deeply fragmented and we anticipate will provide a strong ‘buy and build’ opportunity for CDS.”

Tom Eatough, Associate Corporate Director at KBS Corporate, advised Complete Detection Systems Limited throughout the process and commented,

 “We had to overcome restructuring the transaction in light of an accounting error. We managed to complete due diligence, keep the transaction on track, and progress to completion in an incredibly challenging climate – Covid 19 and government lock-down.”

The shareholders will retain a minority equity stake within Complete Detection Systems Limited post sale and remain in an advisory role for the next 12-24 months.


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