CIVICA GROUP (UK)
Investor: Partners Group
Private equity-backed Civica has been a consistent acquirer in business software, snapping up 20 firms in the 11 years since it was spun out of Sanderson Group in a £190m deal. In the UK, suitable targets tend to have a public sector-dominated client base, with recent deals including HRM SaaS Carval, case management systems developer iCasework, electoral management software group ERS, and school catering payment software firm NRS. The latter deal was advised by BCMS, who also acted for CRM specialist Asidua on its sale to Civica in 2014.
IRIS SOFTWARE GROUP (UK)
Investor: HG Capital/Intermediate Capital
Accounting software specialist IRIS – backed by private equity since 2004 – has in recent years diversified into education with several interesting M&A moves.
In less than three years, IRIS has become the UK market leader in school finance and communication solutions. After its 2016 acquisition of PS Financials, a leading developer of invoicing and communication solutions to academy schools, IRIS bought school-parent messaging app developer Results Squared in 2017 in a BCMS-led deal, closely followed by the purchase of another messaging app Parentmail and rival Contact Group.
ADDNODE GROUP (SWEDEN)
Investor: Stock market shareholders
Stockholm’s Addnode has acquired 13 value-added resellers (VARs) in design and engineering software over the last three years, including three UK businesses since the country voted to leave the EU.
Two significant UK acquisitions include the purchases of Dassault VARs Intrinsys of Milton Keynes – led by BCMS – along with SSA of Oxford. Both have been integrated into Addnode’s PLM division alongside earlier German and Swedish counterparts to become the worldwide #1 in this field.
However, it has also acquired VARs in architecture and facilities management, demonstrating that complementary acquisitions are far more common than buying direct competitors.
Privately held Ohio group MRI Software is taking the property management software market by storm, pursuing an “aggressive” strategy – including four UK acquisitions in 18 months – to become the world leader.
MRI is focused on white label apps and platforms for multi-site letting and estate agents to connect landlords, tenants and vendors, and boasts 9500 customers in 170 countries. Of its four UK acquisitions since 2017, the takeover of Qube Global Software has been a gamechanger.
Qube itself had been acquisitive in recent years, including the purchase of BCMS client Aspasia in 2012. Today, Qube has been rebranded as MRI Software.
Other proptech firms joining the MRI stable were lease tracking developer Real Asset Management, residential management SaaS tool Thesaurus Technology, and apartment block management solutions provider CML Software.
BCMS INSIGHT: BCMS has a strong track record in selling to prolific acquirers as well as first-time buyers.