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Market Leaders in Economic Development and Business Support announce Merger
New Group Company will aim for Stock Market Flotation

The Boards of SQW Ltd and Oxford Innovation Ltd today announced the completion of a merger between the two companies. The merger brings together two market leaders in the fields of economic development and regeneration, technology commercialisation and business support for high-growth companies. The expectation is that the new Group Company of over 150 employees in six locations across the UK will grow significantly with the objective of preparing for a stock market flotation in two to three years.

SQW is a leading economic development and management consultancy. It works mainly with public sector clients at national, regional and local scales in the UK, and internationally, providing strategic and action-oriented advice on a range of issues including: urban and rural regeneration; national policies on science, innovation and business development; skills development and social inclusion policies; and public service performance. SQW is well-known for producing ‘The Cambridge Phenomenon’, a defining report that brought Cambridge’s high-tech industry to worldwide attention.

Oxford Innovation is the UK’s leading operator of Innovation Centres and currently provides premises in 12 Centres that include new buildings at Silverstone and the Portsmouth Technopole, to over 350 fast-growth technology companies, a number of whom have floated on AIM. The firm is recognised as a specialist in helping early stage technology businesses to raise finance through its four Business Angel Investment Networks. Oxford Innovation also delivers innovation services for government, such as the Innovation Advisory Service South East, a new regional initiative to encourage innovation in SMEs funded by SEEDA.

Ian Laing, an Oxford-based property entrepreneur and business angel investor, becomes the new Group Chairman. He said: “I am delighted to announce the completion of this merger which brings together two successful companies with complementary skills and shared values. The merger had the unanimous backing of both sets of shareholders and will enable the Group Company to scale up its operations, as its geographical coverage expands. I look forward to working with Chris Green, David Kingham, Simon Pringle and the other Board members to realise the substantial growth potential of the new business.”

SQW’s managing director, Chris Green, becomes Group Chief Executive Officer. He said: “The merger brings substantial benefits of scale and opportunity for both companies and means that we can greatly enhance the services that we can offer to our clients. We will continue to use the distinctive SQW and Oxford Innovation brands but as a Group we are now in a position to provide an extensive and unique range of services right across the spectrum of project design, specification, implementation and review.”

Oxford Innovation’s chief executive, Dr David Kingham, becomes Chief Operating Officer, Innovation Services. He said: “We have collaborated with SQW on various projects in recent years and seen at first-hand the excellent fit of SQW’s strategy and analysis work with Oxford Innovation’s implementation know-how.

The merger won’t fundamentally change the things we do but it will change the scale on which we are able to do them. SQW’s network of offices provides a springboard to market our innovation services and develop new Innovation Centres in regions beyond the South East while our established Innovation Centres can help to promote SQW’s consultancy services more effectively in the South East, East Midlands and South West.”

SQW is headquartered in Cambridge with regional offices in Edinburgh, Leeds, London and Manchester. Oxford Innovation is headquartered in Oxfordshire, with additional Innovation Centres in Berkshire, Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire and Portsmouth.

Mr Green concluded: “As well as expanding in our current locations, we now plan to open further offices, with the East Midlands identified as an initial<

Publisher Contact Information:

Oxford Innovation
+44 (0)1865 811199

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