03 Jun 2021

Momentum Corporate Finance is delighted to announce the completion of its most recent transaction, having advised Roke Manor Research and its FTSE 250-listed parent company Chemring Group PLC on the acquisition of Cubica Technology Limited (“Cubica”) and Q6 Holdings Limited (“Q6”).

Cubica, based in Woking, Surrey, is a research and development company specialising in artificial intelligence, machine learning, data fusion and autonomy. Principally supplying into the defence and security sectors, Cubica is a trusted supplier to the UK Government, Law Enforcement, and a number of international defence suppliers and private sector organisations. Many of their technologies have been developed and commissioned to detect criminal behaviour, protect assets and help save lives.

Q6 is the majority shareholder of Vigil AI Limited ("Vigil AI"), which has technology providing state-of-the-art solutions to enable online platforms to detect imagery relating to child sexual exploitation globally. Vigil AI has established a joint venture in the US, Krunam KBC, Inc., a public benefit corporation ("Krunam"), in conjunction with Just Business Management, LLC, a US-based social enterprise firm. Krunam is leading the sales and deployment of the Vigil AI technology into the global commercial market.

Since being founded in 2013, Cubica and its employees have developed world-first technologies including its support to building the award-winning Vigil AI technology and its team members have received customer and industry accolades for their research and data science work. They are recognised by the UK Government as leading innovators in their field of expertise. The current owners of Cubica and Q6 will remain in employment with Chemring following completion of the Acquisition.

The Acquisition creates further opportunities for Chemring to enhance and further accelerate growth in its Roke business. Roke's customers require an exponential increase in capability to achieve digital advantage against complex threats. Cubica's leading edge capability in Machine Augmented Intelligence and Autonomy complements Roke's existing capabilities in cyber security, intelligence and electronic warfare, offering customers a force multiplier for their missions. In addition, Cubica's Omniscient and TensorGrid products will benefit from the increased scale of Roke's engineering investment and access to a wider international customer base. Roke plans to invest c£1m in Cubica and Vigil AI to support accelerated growth. This investment will be focused on research and development, infrastructure and security.

It was great to have Ali and Matt working alongside us as we completed this highly strategic acquisition. Having initiated conversations on an off-market basis, they were able to help us deliver the deal in a tight timeframe.  Their advice throughout the process was invaluable, and their experience and sector insight added real value from start to finish. We look forward to continuing to work with Momentum as we seek further opportunities to grow by acquisition.
Paul MacGregor, Managing Director at Roke Manor Research Limited
With a focus on innovative protective technologies and outstanding delivery in support of their customers, the acquisition of the Cubica Group, a business we know well, is a valuable addition to Chemring's portfolio and will further accelerate growth in our Roke business. 
Specialising in artificial intelligence, machine learning, data fusion and autonomy, the Cubica and Vigil AI businesses are an excellent strategic and cultural fit for our Roke business and also offer significant additional research and development expertise as we invest in next generation technologies and expand our product, service and capability offerings.
This acquisition is further evidence of Chemring delivering against its strategy and demonstrates the progress that has made on our path to long-term sustainable growth.
Michael Ord, Chief Executive of Chemring Group Plc
We have thoroughly enjoyed working with the Roke and Chemring teams. Roke has ambitious growth plans, and we are delighted to have been able to contribute towards these by delivering this transaction. Cubica’s expertise in artificial intelligence, machine learning, data fusion and autonomy in the Defence and National Security markets is an excellent strategic fit for Roke and we believe that this transaction is an exciting first acquisition for Roke as it pursues inorganic growth opportunities.
Alastair Boorman, Partner at Momentum Corporate Finance