Kinetic Solutions

September 10, 2019
  • Headquarters: Milton Keynes, UK
  • Acquisition Date: December 2014
  • Vertical Market: Education
  • www.kineticsoftware.com

Background

Based in Cranfield, UK, Kinetic Solutions Ltd. serves as a leading provider of comprehensive solutions for higher education institutions, conference centers and hospitality management.

Founded in 1998, Kinetic Solutions was started by Chris Wildsmith and Steve Ashley with nothing more than their partnership and vision. After a few short years at the helm, Ashley and Wildsmith saw tremendous success and sought to expand into the student accommodation and conference markets which provided further consistent growth that has now grown to over 300 customers worldwide.

Challenges

Kinetics’ two shareholders were not actively looking to sell but always remained open to opportunities in the wider market. Volaris Group recognized Kinetic Solutions as a strategic fit for their portfolio of Vertical Market Software Businesses, and approached the two shareholders in June 2014 to discuss a potential acquisition.

The Volaris approach provided an opportunity for the owners to resolve differing opinions on the future business development. Ashley was more wary of risk and possible investment and as a technical developer felt uncomfortable with the scale of and pressure of owning the business from both a strategic and operational perspective. Wildsmith was more growth focused and motivated to continue developing the business and pushing for the new opportunities. Thus a conflict of interest arose with no evident solutions to the problem at hand.

We are very excited about the possibilities ahead of us for both our customers and our employees, Volaris’ commitment to success through organic growth initiatives and their expertise in operational mentoring align perfectly with our company’s vision and values.

— Chris Wildsmith, General Manager, Kinetic Solutions

The Decision to Sell

Both Wildsmith and Ashley were intrigued by Volaris’ unique buy-and-hold acquisition philosophy, as it would provide Wildsmith the opportunity to grow and operate Kinetic Solutions autonomously. Furthermore, with greater
access to capital, Wildsmith would be able to achieve his objective of scaling Kinetic Solutions through both strategic and organic growth initiatives. Ashley would obtain the benefits of the sale, removing the risk and personal investment required, allowing him to pursue his true passion in the business; programming. The shareholders were excited to accept the solution offered by Volaris Group as it would fulfill both of their personal and professional goals.

Making the decision to sell your business is a tough process, a rare combination of emotions, logic, short vs. long term thinking and ego…what impressed me most about the Volaris process was that the promises pre-acquisition and realities post acquisition have 99% played out and I’m looking forward to further opportunities under the Volaris umbrella.

— Chris Wildsmith, General Manager, Kinetic Solutions

Post-Acquisition Success

The acquisition of Kinetic Solutions by Volaris had no bearing on the company’s operations. Today, Wildsmith continues to operate Kinetic Solutions as their General Manager, retaining his leadership while gaining greater access to capital. Ashley removed his risk as a shareholder but continues to be a part of the business as a developer and employee. Furthermore, Kinetic Solutions now has access to corporate wide sharing of best practices for VMS companies providing their young, ambitious workforce the opportunity for professional growth and development. In the near future, Wildsmith himself looks forward to becoming an acquirer and building a better business as part of Volaris Group.

 

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