A University of Liverpool spin-out business, AIMES was a pioneer of cloud data storage when it was launched in Liverpool in 2005 and now its founders have sold the business. Tony McDonough reports
A University of Liverpool spin-out business that was one of the earliest ventures to take advantage of cloud computing has been sold in a major deal.
AIMES was founded by chief executive, Professor Dennis Kehoe, alongside Jane Hetherington (finance director) and Richard Spragg (technical director). Mr Kehoe had been a professor at the University of Liverpool.
When it was founded in 2005, the business was originally based at the university but then relocated to Liverpool Innovation Park off Edge Lane. It has now been acquired by Arrow Business Communications, based in Surrey.
AIMES provides secure colocation services, advanced cloud services and cloud-based research enabling technologies primarily to NHS, healthcare and public sector bodies in the UK. The deal further strengthens Arrow’s healthcare specialism following recent acquisitions in this area.
Knight Corporate Finance advised AIMES shareholders on the deal, the value of which has not been disclosed. Dennis Kehoe said “Our journey to this deal has been over a number of years with the team at Knight.
“They have helped us to develop as a business in such a way that when the time was right and Arrow approached Knight looking for a strategic target like us, we were prepared for the process.
“The deal allows us to de-risk while becoming a part of a larger professionalised business where together we can deliver on our growth plan in the coming years.”
Richard Burke, chief executive of Arrow, commented first approached to see if there was an opportunity for a potential acquisition. He added: “We see AIMES as being fundamental to leading the development of our data and cloud propositions and hugely complementary to the recent healthcare sector focused acquisitions we have made.
“It was great that we could use our successful long standing relationship with Knight to create a successful process and can now welcome AIMES to the Arrow Group”.
And Paul Billingham, director at Knight, who led the transaction with associate director David Middleton, said “This deal demonstrates the value of knowing your niche and being able to effectively communicate that in order to find a buyer who values this specialism.
“The directors at AIMES created a highly respected brand and technically competent team in what is a difficult sector to break into, and that is reflected in the strategic importance Arrow placed on the business to achieve their current growth plans.”