Shaping intelligent security solutions.

By Daniel Nilsson

We had been following the security sector for many years, already when Stefan and I worked for EQT. The security industry had fantastic fundamental trends, underpinned by increased uncertainty in the society and an exciting digitalization of the security industry, soon becoming software companies.

What we did here was a traditional example of an idea-driven approach. We started mapping the whole industry and looked at many companies, and quickly realized that the B2B market for technical security was very fragmented, a large market, and also fast-growing – which was very attractive for a buy and build case. Interesting hypotheses and business development ideas began take shape.

We started mapping companies, cold-calling them, and soon we had two quality companies that we wished to combine as a platform for the case. We deliberately started with a strong foundation in Stockholm as it was the most advanced market representing substantial value.

As often happens in reality, there were also moments of a roller coaster ride. Just one day before signing the deal, the CEO got cold feet. I invited him for a dinner to my favourite restaurant to understand his sudden concerns. It turned out that his grandmother used to live in that neighbourhood, which had us connect on a deeper level and eventually helped seal our deal. Entrepreneurs in Sweden are very emotionally driven, so you have to understand them and build a relationship and trust, which I totally respect.

Great Security is a great industrial buy and build. We grew the company from SEK 100 to 600 million in just two years and combined eight companies. We were market leaders in Sweden, and we have only started. We recruited Håkan Winberg, the former deputy CEO of Securitas, as chairman, who has done an amazing job and knows everyone in the security industry. He used to be part of the Securitas team that took them from SEK 1 to 100 billion in turnover.

We worked very consciously on building a strong culture. The slogan “Yes we’re GREAT!” reveals a lot about the company spirit. Investing heavily in defining the best practices and rebranding the companies to Great Security, helped them be perceived as and behave as one company. Today, they follow best practices and help each other solve problems like a big family. Parallel with this, we made four more acquisitions. Now we have boosted the revenue by more than 300% to SEK ~650 million and people get in touch to be hired, a great sign of trust.

In just a couple of years, Great Security has reached a market leading position in Sweden. The priority this year is on pricing, standardisation, and to develop security as a service, which has a fantastic potential. We have already received many unsolicited approaches, and potential buyers that believe in the future growth of Great Security. The next owner will for sure be able to grow our Nordic B2B-security-services-company to a European or global player.