Phil and Simon created a company to monitor and detect issues in mission-critical communication alarm links.

CSL Today – CSL is the market leader in providing alarm security software, secure signaling technology, and monitoring services to alarm security, healthcare, utility, and other markets where connectivity is mission-critical and are often insurance and police mandated. CSL has over 1m subscriptions across the UK and Europe. CSL’s unique expertise in combining software, hardware, and network technology enables the company to be the first to monitor and detect security issues in business-critical communication links.


The Beginning – Phil, a Canadian who moved to the UK, and Simon, a UK entrepreneur, teamed up as they saw an opportunity to offer mobile solutions to monitor intruder alarms and take on BT, the monopoly provider of alarm monitoring services in the UK. Phil and Simon overcame big barriers to entry by working with all participants in a complex ecosystem of insurance companies, the police, alarm panel manufacturers, installers, and alarm monitoring centers and successfully began to beat BT by offering a better communication management service.


Transaction Reason – Phil and Simon were experienced entrepreneurs and worked with two PE firms that previously invested in CSL. Phil and Simon were looking to step-away from day-to-day management and transition to non-executive roles where they could spend more time in the areas of the business that interested them.


Why Norland – Phil and Simon chose to work with Norland given Norland’s long-term capital, governance-lite approach, willingness to invest, successful track-record of building and growing businesses, and entrepreneurial mindset. Norland bought out the PE firm’s majority stake and provided Phil and Simon with liquidity, enabling them to transition to their desired roles and to hand over day-to-day management responsibilities to a new management team.


Since Norland’s Investment – At the time of the investment, Ed, the Commercial Director, was promoted to CEO. With Ed, Norland helped to build the senior management team (including the CTO, CFO, and head of new product development), increased headcount by nearly 50%, launched several new products, upgraded systems and infrastructure, and acquired 4 businesses that added new products and accelerated growth in new markets.


Future – CSL is growing subscription revenues at >10% annually and is expanding across Europe and growing in other mission-critical communication markets.


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