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BC Partners is acquiring half of Advanced: FT
Posted on Monday, 12 August 2019 12:08
According to the Financial Times (FT), Vista Equity Partners has agreed to offload 50.0 per cent of its interest in Advanced Computer Software Group to BC Partners in a deal worth about GBP 2.00 billion, including debt.

The newspaper said people with inside knowledge of the matter have confirmed the transaction and said an announcement is expected to be made later today.

BC Partners reportedly entered into talks regarding a partial acquisition of Advanced around 12 months ago and secured a deal before the company was taken to auction.

The investor is paying around 20.0x earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, the sources observed, adding this is in line with other similar purchases in the software sector.

Advanced chief executive Gordon Wilson is expected to remain in his role following completion.

The group was picked up by Vista in a GBP 725.00 million buyout in 2015 and has grown to become the UK’s third-largest provider of business software and services.

According to its website, Advanced generates GBP 254.00 million in annual revenue, has over 19,000 customers and 2,350 employees.

Clients include British Gas, National Express, Virgin Atlantic, Specsavers and the NHS.

The FT observed that the deal further highlights the interest in the software sector from private equity buyers, as well as coming amid the political and economic uncertainty in the UK ahead of the planned exit from the European Union.

Advanced claims to help care for 65.00 million patients in the country, send 10.00 million sports fans through turnstiles, manages over GBP 1.00 billion in charity donations, supports 2.50 million+ students and gets more than 1.20 billion passengers to their destinations on time.

Despite Brexit plans fast approaching, Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, shows there have been 63 private equity and venture capital investments targeting the UK software publishing sector announced in 2019 to date.

The largest of these, until the BC Partners and Advanced acquisition is formally signed off, involved Babylon Holdings raising USD 550.00 million as part of a series C funding round.

Other targets have included WorldRemit, Monzo Bank, Tax Systems and Soldo Financial Services.

© Zephus Ltd