Netwatch to double in size via merger with US and UK monitoring firms

24 Apr 2018

From left: David Walsh, Netwatch; An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, TD; and Niall Kelly, Netwatch. Image: Conor McCabe Photography

Expanded Netwatch Group will have a presence across four continents.

Carlow-headquartered security monitoring company Netwatch is to double in size after merging with three companies in the US and the UK.

The merger, made possible through investment by global equity firm Riverside, will see Netwatch more than double its current workforce of 220 and generate revenues in excess of €60m.

Future Human

Netwatch is merging with National Monitoring Center (California), CalAtlantic (Texas) and Onwatch Multifire (Sussex, UK) to become Netwatch Group.

Prospects for visual monitoring have been boosted by global security threats such as terrorism, school shootings and an ageing population.

“Today we are creating a global powerhouse in proactive monitoring services,” said David Walsh, CEO of Netwatch Group.

“There is increased demand for visual monitoring from enterprise customers, driven by the continuing evolution of technology and advances such as AI, deep learning, 5G and IoT (internet of things).

“We have the proprietary technology, developed by our R&D team in Carlow, to meet this demand. We have ambitious growth plans, which we will achieve through organic growth and further acquisitions.”

Global footprint

The new company will immediately protect more than 300,000 customer sites across the US, Europe, Middle East and Africa, with a network of six global communications hubs connected by Cratos, a technology platform developed by the Netwatch R&D team in Carlow.

“The US is a key growth market for us, and the combined strengths of NMC and CalAtlantic together with the Netwatch offices in Boston, Chicago and New Jersey provides a very strong platform,” Walsh said.

“This, along with the addition of 1,000 resellers in the USA, will be transformative for us as we grow our presence in the US market.”

Walsh added: “Onwatch Multifire is an important addition bolstering our offering in the UK. Onwatch Multifire also specialises in remote video monitoring and will be our UK HQ. It expands our base in a market that holds significant opportunities and will be the focus of renewed attention for us in the future. Having a significant UK presence also insulates us from the impact of Brexit.”

Netwatch Group also announced the appointment of Samir Samhouri as chair of the company. Samhouri is an industry veteran who developed Xtralis to be a global leader in safety and security technologies.

Advisers to Netwatch were William Fry, EY, Grant Thornton and Bank of Ireland Corporate Banking.

“Netwatch is a great example of an Irish company that has achieved success globally through innovation,” said Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon.

“Today’s announcement is a key milestone in the company’s journey and it will accelerate its growth and further strengthen the company’s base in Carlow.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years