Catalyst advises ProLabs as Inflexion makes investment

Catalyst has advised ProLabs, a leading independent supplier of compatible optical transceivers on its investment from Inflexion Private Equity. Inflexion is backing the highly experienced management team to support an acceleration in international expansion and target selected acquisitions.   

Critical in the functioning of global data networks, transceivers are used within the networks of home broadband service providers through to hyper scale data centres. ProLabs has grown profits at over 25% annually and serves blue-chip telecoms and financial services businesses in the U.S., Europe and Asia. The global transceiver market is expanding rapidly as accelerating demand for voice and data services drives the roll-out of faster and higher capacity networks. Supported by significant infrastructure investment, the market for these devices was estimated to be worth over $6bn last year and is forecast to grow at 10% per annum. Founded in 2004, ProLabs was carved-out of a leading European IT distributor in 2013. 

Catalyst had known the business for a number of years having received an initial introduction through the Chairman, Stewart Holness. Catalyst worked hard to prepare the business for private equity investment, assisting on negotiating management terms and providing strategic advice to the business throughout the transaction process.

Richard Sanders, Partner of Catalyst who led the deal supported by James England and Mike Mullally, commented: "We are delighted to have advised ProLabs on their successful deal and we are confident that together,  Inflexion and management will take the business forward and accelerate its international expansion plan. This is a fantastic business with huge growth potential."

Ward Williams, Chief Executive Officer, ProLabs, commented: "Catalyst really understood our business from the outset and has provided us with the strategic advice and support we needed throughout the process. They have a strong track record of working with businesses such as ours and their hard work and dedication has really paid off."

Tim Smallbone, Head of Enterprise, Inflexion, commented: "We are delighted to back Ward Williams and his talented management team. ProLabs has a great platform from which to support transformative growth. Inflexion's sector expertise and international reach, with in-country experts in Asia and South America, made us a natural partner. It's been a period of momentum at Inflexion, meeting tenacious management teams and recognising their vision for growth; this investment represents our tenth within a year. We look forward to a prosperous future with ProLabs." 

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