NEC agrees £475m deal to buy Northgate Public Services

Written by Sam Trendall on 9 January 2018 in News

Japanese titan acquires UK government IT specialist


One of the UK public sector’s major IT suppliers, Northgate Public Services (NPS), is set to be acquired by Japanese technology monolith NEC.

NPS’s current owner, UK-headquartered private-equity firm Cinven, has agreed a £475m deal to sell a majority stake in the software and services house. Following the buyout’s completion, which is expected to take place before the end of the month, the company will continue to operate under the name Northgate Public Services. Cinven will retain a shareholding and a seat on the NPS board.

Northgate Public Services works across the local and central government, housing, law enforcement, transport, and healthcare sectors. It claims that “95% of UK local authorities” are current or former customers. Its Connect suite of software applications for the police is used by 14 forces across the country, and its international clients include the housing trust for the state of South Australia.

One of the key advantages of the acquisition, the two parties claim, will be the opportunity for NPS to integrate NEC’s facial-recognition and other biometric technologies into its software products. 

Related content

“Combined with NEC’s business, we will now be able to offer a wider suite of services and software to our existing client base, whilst also expanding in new geographies and technology sectors,” said NPS chief executive Stephen Callaghan. “I’d like to stress that we see this as simply the beginning of our next phase of development. The increased financial strength, technical capability, and market-access support NEC provides will allow us to accelerate our growth plans considerably, and I am enthusiastic about our future prospects.”  

NEC chief executive Takashi Niino added: “This transaction provides NPS with the opportunity to develop its proven and market-leading software across our growing international client base in North America, APAC (Asia Pacific) and other regions. We very much look forward to working collaboratively with NPS to capitalise on the wide-ranging product synergies we have identified.”

Accounts for NPS holding company Argon Topco Limited reveal that, in its 2017 fiscal year, NPS saw revenues decline by 10.4% annually to £163.5m, while pre-tax losses widened from £28.5m to £44.3m.  The firm employs 2,314 staff and is headquartered in Hemel Hempstead. It runs a further 10 offices across the UK, as well as outposts in Mumbai, New Delhi, and Sydney.

NEC, meanwhile, has been in operation since 1899 and turned over ¥2.7tn – equivalent to about £17.5bn – in FY17. Based in Tokyo, the company has almost 108,000 employees worldwide.


About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

Share this page



Add new comment

Related Articles

GDS feels the love from civil service chief Manzoni
6 March 2018

Whitehall leader praises achievements of digital agency and points to the crucial role it will play in delivering Brexit

How the UK Space Agency is improving public services from the exosphere
28 February 2018

PublicTechnology talks to Sara Huntingdon about the Space for Smarter Government Programme’s work with Whitehall and the wider public sector


Whitehall signs up to avoid all-male tech shortlists
31 January 2018

All government departments will sign the Tech Talent Charter, including a pledge to submit anonymised diversity data


Related Sponsored Articles

How to quantify cyber risk
15 March 2018

BT's Malcolm Stokes explains how organisations can attribute accurate figures to cyber risks in order to make a viable business case.

Cyber security is one of the greatest man-made challenges of our time
6 March 2018

BT's Ben Azvine argues that the frequency and impact of breaches is increasing and we need to continuously adapt and innovate to stay ahead of the threat environment

Who keeps your organisation secure?
19 February 2018

BT's Amy Lemberger argues that having the right security in place to protect your organisation is no longer just an option. It is a necessity.