Telescope Technologies Limited (“TTL”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU),
was a project-based organisation operating multidisciplinary engineering teams for the design and production
of high specification equipment, in particular large robotic astronomical telescopes.
The engineers operated across the disciplines of control, electrical, electronic, mechanical, optics,
software and networking. To diversify its income stream and to help smooth cash flow, TTL also began
offering technical services as a consultancy. While this initiative was new, significant sales had already been won.
LJMU wanted to divest TTL, to enable TTL to grow more successfully within a complementary business, and to allow LJMU
to focus its financial resources on its academic mission.
Catalyst's Role: Catalyst brought to the assignment a unique mix of skills and experience, spanning good understanding of
astrophysics, precision engineering, and international M&A.
The key to finding the right buyer in this specialised market was to focus on the business assets of TTL.
These included its telescope design and build capability, its intellectual property rights portfolio,
the team’s technical, major project management and integration skills, and their astronomical market knowledge,
especially of the customer and other supplier contact network. This focus enabled TTL to be able to sell the
advantages a buyer would gain from an acquisition of TTL, and to highlight the attributes of potential buyers which
would allow the most significant exploitation of those assets.
Result: LJMU sold TTL to Las Cumbres Observatory Inc, (LCO), a US scientific and educational foundation established in
1992 by computer legend Wayne Rosing, Google's former Vice President of Engineering.
TTL’s assets and skill base perfectly complemented the needs of Las Cumbres Observatory in
designing and building a ground-breaking worldwide network of robotic telescopes.