Advanced Computer Software Buys Computer Software Holdings For £110m

Channel News

Deal to buy accounting software firm will extend offerings and should bolster revenues

Computer Software Holdings (CSH) has been acquired from its private equity owner by Advanced Computer Software (Advanced)  for £110 million.

CSH provides accountancy software to small and medium-sized businesses as well as back office software to UK professional services firms. The firm has been sold by private equity firm HgCapital.

A big deal

The acquisition marks the group’s biggest deal to date and will enlarge Advanced’s Business Solutions and 365 Managed Services divisions. The company said that CSH was “highly cash generative and will be immediately earnings enhancing”.

HgCapital acquired CSH as part of its purchase of Iris Software Group in 2011 and has now succeeded in separating CSH out from Iris and selling it on to a strategic buyer.

Jonathan Boyes, a member of the Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) team at HgCapital, said, “CSH has made significant progress under HgCapital’s ownership and in Advanced has found the ideal home to further develop its market leading suite of products.”

Vin Murria, chief executive of Advanced, said, “This immediately earnings-enhancing acquisition is a tremendous opportunity for both Advanced and CSH which will also significantly enhance the scale of our business solutions and managed services divisions. The business and many of the management team are well known to us which will simplify the integration process.

“The acquisition also provides multiple opportunities for cross-selling our growing portfolio of products and services, as businesses and organisations increasingly seek technology solutions to improve business performance and deliver economies,” he added.

In a separate trading update Advanced said it expected sales for the year to the end of February to reach £119 million, up 21 percent when compared to the previous 12 months.

The group has also announced that Guy Millward, an Advanced non-executive director, will shortly become chief financial officer, and Barbara Firth, currently in that role, will move to chief operating officer responsible for acquisitions and integration.  Paul Gibson remains as chief operating officer responsible for operations across the group.

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