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Grant Thornton Malta helps local tech company secure Melita investment

Despite an ongoing climate of economic uncertainty, our advisory team has managed to assist the HandsOn Group with seeing through the sale of a minority stake to Melita Limited, one of Malta’s leading telecommunications services provider and a leader in innovative solutions relating to the Internet of Things (IoT). HandsOn specializes in telematics and IoT solutions, with its three main product lines being automotive fleet tracking and management; inventory tracking through RFID; and usage-based insurance services.


While group operations are primarily based in Malta, subsidiaries have recently been set up in Italy, Ghana and Oman. Prior to engaging Grant Thornton as corporate advisors, the HandsOn Group had been seeking to secure investment through the sale of private equity, in order to form a strategic alliance with a prospective partner that would help the Group consolidate its dominant position in the local IoT industry while simultaneously taking advantage of a fledgling international market with huge potential. In the months leading up to the finalization of the transaction, our team had assisted the client with an internal group restructuring. The team also presented the diverse strategic growth options available, and helped the client consider how these types of finance may support the growth plan at HandsOn Group. After the client decided that a private share issue should be the way forward, the Advisory Services Team formulated a business plan for the Group, and circulated this with prospective interested parties.


The next step by our advisory team was to introduce the executives at HandsOn to a number of prospective acquirers, with whom the client had rounds of discussions to evaluate the possibility of a strategic partnership. Throughout the transaction process, Grant Thornton’s Advisory Services Team was responsible for drafting and submitting all relevant documentation, and for carrying out the necessary due diligence from the vendor’s perspective for the deal to go through. The team also assisted HandsOn with evaluating different offers made by prospective acquirers.  HandsOn chose Melita as a strategic partner which could offer clear synergies through Melita’s next generation networks and their IoT offerings in Malta and internationally. Geoffrey Farrugia, CEO at HandsOn, stated that “this investment will assist our growth plans, particularly internationally where there are clear synergies between our solutions and Melita’s connectivity.”


On Grant Thornton's role in the transaction, Mr Farrugia complemented our team, stating that they were "very instrumental in securing the investment with Melita. Their technical ability and professionalism helped the company prepare itself for the new setup." We congratulate both the HandsOn Group and Melita Limited on making sure this deal went through. We are truly excited to see what the synergies between these two forward-looking companies can bring to the IoT industry, both locally and abroad!


Top tips for achieving a deal that delivers growth


  • Have a clear goal for why you are seeking M&A as a growth strategy and assess your acquisition target on its ability to deliver on that;


  • Examine the diversity of finance options available, and consider how those types of finance may support your growth plan;


  • Develop a compelling investment proposal and a healthy business plan to attract finance;


  • Think about the potential post-deal challenges upfront and prepare to tackle them throughout the deal process;


  • Develop a communication strategy for employees and customers.


Speak to the experts below to discuss your M&A growth strategy or the stages of the deal process.