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About us and our strategy

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About us and our strategy

Cohort is the parent company of four innovative, agile and responsive businesses providing a wide range of services and products for British, Portuguese and international customers in defence and related markets. It aims to add real value through the experience and contacts of its senior team while providing a light-touch but effective governance framework. Its objective is to deliver value to shareholders through its four operating subsidiaries: EID, MASS, MCL and SEA.

Cohort was founded on the principle that SME-size businesses can prosper by being part of a larger group, where they can benefit from financial oversight, management support and the exchange of information and practices. Cohort aims to achieve this while preserving the high growth potential of innovative independent businesses.

Our mission

To build and operate a group of companies applying advanced technology in defence, security and related markets and combining the innovation and responsiveness of smaller, independent businesses with the stability, shared knowledge, wider market access and lower funding costs of a listed group to provide enduring benefits to customers, employees and shareholders.

Consistently grow profits and cash generation organically through our subsidiaries.
Increase the profitability of the Group and access new markets through selective acquisitions.
Increase the profitability of the Group and access new markets through selective acquisitions.
Ensure good corporate governance and sound risk management and communicate what we are doing to investors.
Ensure good corporate governance and sound risk management and communicate what we are doing to investors.
  • A focus on trusted delivery to our customers.
  • Encouraging innovation and responsiveness with a low cost base.
  • Identifying and pursuing growth opportunities.
  • Increased organic export sales. Excluding EID, export sales in 2016/17 were £19m, some 4% higher than last year.
  • New market growth business opportunity in digital forensics.
  • Large order book provides a strong underpinning for the revenue in the coming year.
  • Continued organic growth through pursuing identified opportunities in UK and export defence markets and other market areas.
  • Invest in future market growth opportunities in digital forensics, cyber and new naval systems.
  • Facilitate cross-group communications and synergies.

Our business model

Autonomous, agile businesses combining niche technology with highly skilled and flexible people:

Our acquisition approach

We believe that there are good businesses in the UK and overseas that would thrive under Cohort ownership, whether as standalone members of the Group or as “bolt‑in” acquisitions to our existing subsidiaries.

Standalone acquisitions

relate to businesses that have reached a stage of development where there will be mutual benefit in joining Cohort as a subsidiary.

Bolt-in acquisitions

are businesses with capabilities and/or customer relationships that are closely aligned with and can be integrated into one of our existing subsidiaries.

Delivering stakeholder returns
We are committed to delivering value to shareholders and ensuring they benefit from our success in the form of dividends

Bringing significant competitive advantages

Being part of the Cohort Group brings significant advantages to our businesses compared with operating independently:

  • Agility Cohort’s management approach is to allow its subsidiary businesses a significant degree of operational autonomy in order to develop their potential fully, while providing light-touch but rigorous financial and strategic controls at Group level. Our experience is that our customers prefer to work with businesses where decision-making is streamlined and focused on solving their immediate problems.
  • Strength The Group’s strong balance sheet gives customers the confidence to award large or long-term contracts that we are technically well able to execute but which might otherwise be perceived as risky. Our current three UK operating businesses, while remaining operationally independent, have close working relationships and are able to benefit from each other’s technical capabilities, customer relationships and market knowledge.
  • Market access The Group’s Directors have long experience of operating in the defence sector and have contacts and working relationships with senior customers in the UK and internationally which it would be hard for independent smaller businesses to establish.