Employee backed buyout of Photonic Solutions Limited secures long term future of the company at its Edinburgh base

Photonic Solutions Staff

Edinburgh, 2nd October 2017 – Photonic Solutions Limited (“Photonic Solutions”) is pleased to announce that with the support of Panoramic Growth Equity (“Panoramic”), a leading equity investor in fast growing, entrepreneurial UK companies, that an employee backed buyout (EBO) has been successfully completed. The EBO will secure the future of the company at its base in Edinburgh, and with that the continued supply, installation and service of many of the world’s leading laser and photonics systems to the scientific community in UK and ROI.

The EBO consists of eight experienced employees with Andrew Blain leading the team and being appointed Managing Director, Dr Elaine Blackwood appointed Director of Sales and Marketing, Dr Craig Garvie appointed Sales Director and Dr Ben Agate appointed Business Development Director. Panoramic Partner Stephen Campbell will join the Photonic Solutions board.


Founded in 1999 following an MBO of the Agency Division of Edinburgh Instruments, Photonic Solutions has become recognised as one of Europe's leading laser and photonics suppliers. John Macleod, the retiring MD, was one of original founders of the company, and along with John O’Connor, retiring Sales and Marketing Director, worked closely with the employees to help enable the EBO. Both were keen to keep the company independent, local and in the hands of the staff who had help contribute to the success of the company.


Stephen Campbell, Partner at Panoramic Growth Equity, commented: “We are delighted to support Andrew and the team in the acquisition of Photonic Solutions. We were excited by the prospect of supporting the existing employees in buying a well-established business which operates in a technical and growing sector. The team has significant experience of serving many of the country’s top universities and high-tech manufacturers and we are delighted to support a vital sector of the UK’s economy. Photonic Solutions is an exciting addition to Panoramic’s investment portfolio and we look forward to supporting the company’s continued growth.”


Andrew Blain, Managing Director at Photonic Solutions, commented: “We are delighted to have Panoramic on board as our investor. Our goal throughout the process was to partner with an investor who was supportive of our goal to secure Photonic Solutions future as an employee owned company. Panoramic came highly recommended from several sources including other companies that they have backed. But it was upon meeting the team for the first time and getting to know them that we knew their collaborative approach to work was what we needed from an investment partner. We are confident that with Panoramic’s support we can continue to drive the success of Photonic Solutions and, most importantly, continue to support the Photonics community in the UK and Ireland.”


Retiring MD John Macleod said the employee buyout was a great solution for everyone associated with the business, saying: “I wanted to see the company sustained and to continue to prosper. Nobody knows this business better than its workforce and John O’Connor and myself are delighted that the business is now owned by our former colleagues. It could not be in better hands!” 


John MacLeod also added “Many people have contributed to the success of the company, but we would particularly like to pay tribute to all our customers who have supported us over the years. We are fortunate to have a loyal and supportive customer base and I was confident that the EBO was the right approach to ensure there would be continuity of support of those customers. In addition, we want to thank all our suppliers whose quality-driven product lines have helped build Photonic Solutions reputation as the go-to supplier for the highest quality photonics products.”


The Management were supported by legal advice from Stuart Murray and Karen Harvie of Shoosmiths LLP and Corporate Finance advice provided by Johnston Carmichael. Panoramic were advised by Paul Mann of lawyers Squire Patton Boggs and Consilium Chartered Accountants who provided Financial Due Diligence led by David Holt.

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