Energist to ride wave of global demand for aesthetic treatments under new ownership

THE management team at Energist Group, which designs and sells specialist equipment to the medical and beauty markets, has today announced a buy-in from a new investment group.

The deal was backed by Beaubridge LLP and WestBridge Fund Managers (WestBridge Capital) and sees the previous majority shareholder Merlin Bioscience exit while retaining a minority interest.

Energist designs and assembles a range of light, laser and plasma based systems which are used in a number of medical and beauty applications such as hair removal, skin rejuvenation, vascular treatment, acne management and body shaping. 

Under Merlin’s ownership, Energist has grown from a small start-up company into an international business.  With turnover having trebled and profitability increased more than seven-fold, the business has made a significant and positive impact on the local economy. 

During the two-year period, August 2009 to August 2011, sales grew from £5.6 million to £9.8 million.

The management team, led by CEO Jonathan Prutton, is confident of continuing this growth over the next three years, while building on current levels of profitability.

Peter Buckley from Beaubridge LLP, who will join the Energist board, said:

“In the past decade, demand for systems to treat various cosmetic and medical conditions has exploded.  This is set to continue and with such a successful team we had no hesitation in backing this deal.  The business’s next step will be to expand medical sector market share and opportunities overseas as well as pursuing an aggressive new product development programme.”

WestBridge Capital co-led the transaction. Partner Sandy Smart, who also joins the Energist board, said:

“We are pleased to invest in this deal as this is a robust and profitable business, which is set to expand as the management team introduces new products and establishes distribution in countries that are only just starting to embrace aesthetic treatments.

“We’ll be with them every step of the way, bringing our usual package of practical, hands-on advice and guidance.”

Energist CEO Jonathan Prutton, who has been with the business for five years, said:

“Our products are used primarily for the safe removal of hair and the reduction of fine lines, wrinkles and veins.  Now that the public is starting to fall out of love with tattoos, we see this as just one big area of growth for us in the future.

“We will also be developing our distribution network in Russia, Japan, Korea, South America and China where we are seeing huge surges in demand.

“We are particularly pleased to have backing from Beaubridge and WestBridge Capital because they both deliver so much more than just money.”

Professor Sir Chris Evans, fund manager of the Merlin Biosciences funds, added:

“Despite being one of the smaller companies in our portfolio, I am very pleased we were able to secure a good deal for our fund whilst now handing control of this successful business to Beaubridge and WestBridge to take it to the next stage.  The cash exit achieved and future equity value going forward both deliver excellent returns on our initial investment.”


About Energist

The market for the company’s products is currently estimated at $1.5 billion globally, with all indicators stating it will carry on growing as consumers continue to pursue eternal youth and beauty through affordable, non-invasive, aesthetic treatments.Established in 1999, Energist employs over fifty staff across its headquarters and factory in Swansea, and offices in Denmark, the USA and Germany. Using a global network of distributors, the company supplies 55 percent of its products to the medical market and 45 per cent to the beauty market.Since 2009, turnover at the company has virtually doubled to £9.6 million, achieved through organic growth and acquisition.

About Beaubridge LLP:

Beaubridge LLP is a specialist investor in small and medium sized companies.It aims to find investments of £20m or less that offer significant risk-adjusted returns.Beaubridge considers investments across a wide variety of sectors.  The focus to date has been on financial services, healthcare, communications, property and retail opportunities.Beaubridge has invested in 16 different companies since 2005 and it has achieved four exits: Endoart SA and World Challenge Expeditions Ltd returned in excess of 3x.  Whitecastle LLP returned 24% over 13 months and Ferrari’s Bakery Limited returned 20% over six months.

About WestBridge Capital:

Formed in 2008, WestBridge typically invests between £1m and £5m in fast growing, profitable UK SMEs. The four founding partners all have circa 20 years’ experience in the private equity market along with proven track records of successful investment and the creation of dozens of robust and valuable businesses.The partners have created a network of ‘engaged and hands-on’ industrial investors, successful entrepreneurs and business angels who deliver far more than money to investee companies.

About Merlin Biosciences:

The Merlin Biosciences funds are managed by Excalibur Fund Managers Ltd.Excalibur Fund Managers Ltd is chaired by Professor Sir Chris Evans and is a specialist investor and founder of high growth medical science companies.Other notable recent exits from the Merlin Bioscience funds include BioVex and Plramed.  Both of which secured start-up and growth capital funding from the Merlin Bioscience funds.  BioVex was sold to Amgen for $1 billion and Plramed was sold to Roche for $185 million.

For further information:

Ruth Shearn


0161 927 3131 or 07881 772960


Peter Morley

Two Blue Communications

0207 738 1673