Airwave provides a secure, digital radio-communications system for Britain’s public-safety services. Its network covers more than 99% of mainland Britain. The Slough-based company is providing a radio service for the 2012 Olympic Games that will cover 12,500 organisers across all the event’s venues. In 2007 Macquarie paid Telefonica £1.9 billion for Airwave and, following the sale of a Macquarie fund in 2009, Canadian Pension Plan now owns half the company. Under chief executive Richard Bobbett, 2011 sales fell to £386m but profits rose to £52m. It has £1 billion of debt – 38 times its operating profit.
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