Shaw & Co advises in deal which sees CareTech acquire Smartbox

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Shaw & Co, the specialist corporate finance advisory firm, has advised the Management team of Smartbox Assistive Technology Limited, as the business was sold by Tobii AB to CareTech Holdings PLC and Management.

Smartbox is a market-leading creator of software and hardware that helps disabled people without speech to have a voice and live more independently. As well as CareTech, Smartbox also supports service users with learning disabilities, autism and acquired disability for example, through stroke or brain damage following an injury.

Headquartered in Malvern, UK, Smartbox was bought by Tobii AB in 2018. However, following an inquiry from the UK Competition and Markets Authority, Tobii was required to sell Smartbox on competition grounds.

CareTech has established a subsidiary, Smartbox Holdings Ltd, which is 70% owned by CareTech, with the remaining held by the Smartbox management team comprising Dougal Hawes, Jarrod Inott and Hannah Church, as well as previous owners Paul and Alyson Hawes.

Farouq Sheikh, CareTech’s Executive Chairman, commented: “This partnership opens up unprecedented opportunities to blend care and technology. This will benefit the service users supported by CareTech alongside disabled people more generally and enable the Group to offer innovative solutions to both NHS and LA commissioners.”

Dougal Hawes, Smartbox’s managing director, said: “There were multiple bidders in the sale process but CareTech was clearly the best partner for Smartbox, with a shared commitment to delivering the best products and services for the people we serve. Many thanks to Jim and the Shaw & Co team for their support which enabled us to complete this transaction smoothly.

“In joining CareTech, we are thrilled that this new future will enable us to achieve more while continuing to do what we do best, putting disabled people at the centre of all we do. Smartbox will be able to reach more people around the world who need assistive technology, while supporting the CareTech purpose to improve service pathways for disabled people and those with complex needs.”

Speaking of the deal, Jim Shaw, founder and CEO of Shaw & Co, commented: “We were delighted to support the Management team through this complex transaction. The partnership between Management and CareTech will ensure that Smartbox is able to flourish and best serve its stakeholders.”