Its overseas security business vertical, Mortise, was listed on the London Alternative Investment Market in 2008.
Leading private security firm Tenon Group, is shifting its focus to remote monitoring as it plans to ramp up revenue ahead of a domestic listing next fiscal. The Rs 1,600-crore group with three businesses — flagship Peregrine Guarding, Tenon Facility Management, and specialised remote security monitoring under Soteria label — was planning a listing this year but the pandemic has put brakes to the plan, and is now aiming to go public next fiscal, group founder-chairman Manjit Rajain said.
Its overseas security business vertical, Mortise, was listed on the London Alternative Investment Market in 2008. However, due to liquidity challenges it was made private in 2019, said Rajain, who served in the Army and also in the J&K police. Manned by a team of 600, the company runs Asia’s largest remote monitoring security centre in Gurugram — all on-camera. Its clients include a large American aerospace and defence company based in Florida, apart from leading banks, gold loan companies, and scores of large corporations.
“Our remote monitoring and surveillance services — Soteria Command Centre — (Soteria is the Greek goddess of safety) will soon be our cash cow and are on course to become the biggest business for us both in terms of topline as well as bottomline,” Rajain told PTI. The company hopes to cross the 2019 revenue of Rs 1,800 crore this year, provided there is no third wave. Though the topline declined to Rs 1,600 crore in 2020, margin has improved to 6 per cent from 4.5 per cent, largely owing to cost control. “We expect to launch a Rs 1,000-crore IPO by FY23 at a valuation of Rs 4,000 crore when we expect our price to earnings ratio to touch 15 times,” he said.
In preparation for the IPO, Rajain has already moved back the company’s headquarters to Gurugram from Singapore. Currently Rajain owns 100 per cent equity in the group, but is actively looking at selling a minority stake to private equity players in the run-up to the public issue.
The group employs 1 lakh, of whom 90,000 are in the country, mostly as security guards and around 10,000 are in England, Singapore and Zambia where it employs over 7,000 and is more profitable than the British operations where it employs around 4,200 security guards and 400 security guards in Singapore.
The group’s oldest and largest business is the 25-year-old security business under the name of Peregrine, employing 74,000 deployed across 2,000 pin-codes, making it the third largest after G4S and SIS. The group also has the country’s largest canine squad as part of security business. Meanwhile, Tenon Prime is into deep cleaning and fumigation, and has been making good returns amid the pandemic.
It was Launched in November 2019, with six vans with specialised men for fumigation and deep cleaning, as set by the COVID protocols, he said, adding large companies are making a beeline for this specialised cleaning and COVID-specific fumigation.