James and NVM have proved to be outstanding investment partners. They have been incredibly supportive and have used their experience and network to help us develop the capability and reach of the business since the MBO. Richard Buckland, CEO of Optilan


In 1990 Optilan was co-founded by telecommunications engineer Richard Buckland, who over the years has led the company’s expansion into new markets; building a strong team around him in the process.

Optilan designs, builds and installs communication networks, providing a “one-stop-shop” solution for all aspects of communication systems, including satellite, wireless, fibre transmission systems, CCTV security and radio-based systems.

The company operates primarily from its UK Headquarters in the West Midlands and regional offices in Russia, India, the Middle East and Azerbaijan.

The company has built a strong reputation for delivering against its customer’s regulatory, quality and reliability requirements. Richard and the team were therefore well placed to take advantage of the forecast global growth in its end markets, so agreed to seek funding for a management buy-out. In 2008 NVM backed the team and have actively worked alongside the board of directors to implement Optilan’s growth strategy.

NVM sold Optilan to Blue Water Energy in April 2017, delivering a 3.1x return

We have thoroughly enjoyed working with the talented team at Optilan and seeing the business develop into a leading global telecoms solutions provider following the original buy-out. The strategy of developing the business’s international footprint and technical capability has been highly successful, despite a challenging market backdrop, and we believe that Optilan can continue to grow from this point with the team and market presence that they now have. We wish management well as they work with Blue Water to continue building what is a highly successful Midlands business which exports British expertise around the world. James Arrowsmith, NVM