Immediate release

Limerston Capital portfolio company Axiom International Limited (Axiom) has completed the acquisition of Torchlight Group Limited (Torchlight).

London based Axiom ( a leader in the provision of strategic capacity building programmes, institutional and public sector reform, peacebuilding and national security development. It forms part of the larger Limerston Capital-backed AFA International, led by CEO and Axiom Co-Founder Prof Angela Gallop, CBE.  This is AFA International’s second acquisition following the formation of the group in 2020.

Based in Swindon, Torchlight ( specialises in the provision of security and development services, delivering programmes on behalf of bilateral and multi-lateral donors, including the UK (FCDO, MOD, Home Office and NCA), the UN and USAID, to support beneficiary governments in building capacity and developing capability to address the underlying drivers of serious and organised crime, irregular and illegal migration, counter-extremism, and counter-terrorism.

The acquisition of Torchlight is the next step of an ambitious growth strategy aimed at creating a leading international security and criminal justice capacity building organisation.

Martim Avillez and Joao Rosa Limerston Capital Founding Partners said: “The acquisition of Torchlight is an important milestone for Limerston Capital’s investment in the international security and criminal justice capacity building space. Combining Axiom’s outstanding strategic capacity building programme delivery with Torchlight’s leading defence, strategic communications and cyber capabilities will further enhance the reach and service provision of the group. We are delighted to have supported Chris and the Axiom management team in this transaction.”

Chris Gregg, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of Axiom said: “We are delighted and look forward to working with Ed Dickson and the outstanding Torchlight team going forward. Ed has built a formidable capability in delivering outstanding programmes across the world. The combination of Axiom and Torchlight will take our client focused approach to a whole new level, and we’re extremely excited about the future. The businesses are in a fantastic position to deliver further growth in the coming years working with the experienced team at Limerston Capital.”

Ed Dickson, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Torchlight Group said: “We are very excited by the opportunity to join forces with Axiom International, bringing together world class expertise in security and development, and Limerston Capital, who are dedicated to realising organisational potential and leading ambitious growth strategies. We are immensely proud of all that we have achieved at Torchlight since our inception in 2011 and look forward to this new chapter with such credible and ambitious partners, who share our desire to bring enduring security and stability where it is needed most in the world.”

ends (04/03/2021)

About Limerston Capital

Founded in 2015, London based Limerston Capital pursues control investments in UK lower mid-market companies and seeks to create value through the firm’s operationally focused and buy-and-build driven model.  The firm targets businesses with EBITDA of between £5 million and £15 million that have a solid value proposition, but have potential for operational improvements and buy-and-build, have mispriced underlying returns on capital or provide opportunities for strategic repositioning.  Limerston Capital’s fully integrated team of operating partners participates in all aspects of deal origination, value creation and portfolio management.

About AFA International

AFA International brings together the very best of British forensic science with exceptional international aid consulting for criminal justice and national security.  The group comprises the joining of two companies:  London based Axiom International Ltd (Axiom) is focused on international development consultancy delivering solutions in strategic capacity building, institutional & public sector reform, justice and peacebuilding, and national security development in low and middle-income countries; and Oxfordshire based Forensic Access Ltd (Forensic Access), a provider of forensic science services to the UK criminal justice system and specialist forensic consulting services.