Olive Group lands

Thursday, September 20, 2007

WASHINGTON--Olive Group, a security firm that provides protection services, risk assessments and integrated security systems, announced this week the close of an equity financing round, with Monitor Clipper Partners as lead investor. Details of the investment were not disclosed, but Mary Jo Lampe, vice president of strategic marketing and communications for Olive's U.S. division put the funding amount in the "tens of millions."
"Part of the strategy behind the investment," Lampe said, "is to really understand how it can grow as a real company, not as haphazard acquisition of contracts here and there ... the demand for a more holistic security company is growing."
Olive Group began in the UK in 2001, founded by former military men Chris and David St. George, along with Gavin Mayhew and John Yourston. The company quickly opened an office in Dubai and has been performing protection and other security work in Iraq since the beginning of the Iraq War. In addition to U.S. offices here, the company has a training facility in Memphis, Tenn.
"We have traditionally been focused on personal security detail," said Lampe, "but now we're doing systems more often ... we're very focused on growing our strategic systems side, working toward the fully integrated security solution." She mentioned new hires of systems specialists from firms like General Dynamics.
Currently, Olive has roughly 30 employees working in the United States. Lampe said the company in the short term is eyeing the petroleum and chemical industries as target markets, along with large corporations doing business abroad.
Monitor Clipper Partners is a private equity firm founded in 1998 that invests in middle market management buyouts, recapitalizations and growth equity financings. It currently manages more than $1.5 billion of capital and has invested more than $1.2 billion in 25 transactions since its first investment in 1999.