Multi-million pound company goes global with major stake in Middle East group

Stephen Fenby, MD of Midwich at Diss, distributers for audio visual products. Picture: Denise Bradle

Midwich boss Stephen Fenby says the latest acquisition the company, based on the Norfolk/Suffolk border, makes it 'truly global' Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Denise Bradley

A fast-expanding, audio-visual (AV) Diss firm is buying a £14.2m stake in an electronics company based in the United Arab Emirates (UEA) and Qatar.

Midwich — a specialist distributor of AV equipment to the trade market — has snapped up an 80% chunk in NMK Group, another value-added distributor of the products with a turnover of around £22m.

The move enables the Diss-based £686m turnover company to break into the Middle Eastern market — subject to the deal meeting local regulatory approvals and makes it “truly global”, it said.

NMK was founded in 1989 by Nicolaos Kyvernitis and is based in Sharjah in the UAE.

It has operations in Sharjah and in Dubai and supplies specialist AV products to customers in the UAE and wider Gulf region. It has a “strong” heritage in the professional audio market where the business operates with high-end specialist brands including Shure and Bose and more recently Epson, said Midwich.

The Middle Eastern operation will continue to be led by the existing management team.

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Managing director Alex Kemanes and director of business development Constantinos Drimakis will retain their aggregate 20% shareholding in the group.  

Nicolaos Kyvernitis is set to retire from the group — which includes Nicolas M Kyvernitis Electronics Ent, NMK Middle East FZE and Edge Electronics Trading — following a transition period on completion.

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Midwich points out that figures suggest the Middle Eastern market is one of the fastest growing AV markets in the world, and sees the deal as further expanding the business’ geographical footprint to support its customers and vendors internationally.

The group’s strategy is to grow organically and through the selective acquisition of “strong, complementary businesses”. In February 2020, it snapped up Starin Marketing Inc. 

Midwich group managing director Stephen Fenby said: “This is an exciting day for the Midwich Group as it not only marks the group’s entry into one of the fastest growing AV markets in the world, but also means we now have a presence in all major global territories. This gives us a truly global footprint, and ensures we are able to support our customers across all key geographies.

“NMK has built a strong reputation for service and its value-add model is an excellent fit with Midwich’s global offering. We are looking forward to working with Alex, Dino and the rest of the NMK Group team.”

Mr Kemanes of NMK Group said during their initial conversations it became apparent that Midwich would be the “ideal partner” to support NMK with its growth ambitions. 

“We are delighted to be joining the Midwich Group and very much look forward to working with our new colleagues.”

Midwich has around 1,000 employees across the UK and Ireland, Continental Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America. The Diss office employs around 250 staff and Midwich’s operating profit in 2019 stood at around £33.5m.

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