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Advent sells Sophis to Misys for £375m

MiSys acquires Dublin based Sophis from Advent International for £ 375m.

The acquisition establishes Misys as the number 1 application software and services provider in capital markets.

Mike Lawrie, Misys Chief Executive, said  “I am delighted to announce this significant acquisition that progresses Misys further in the Leadership phase of its transformation. Today we are creating the leading application software and services provider in capital markets. Sophis’s solutions are highly complementary to our existing treasury and capital markets solutions. We are delighted with the strength of the Sophis management team that will be joining us.”

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Apax offloads Technology portfolio to Azini

Azini Capital backed by Lexington Partners and Greenpark Capital acquired Apax Partner’s Technology portfolio of growth and development stage technology companies.

Acquired companies include Starhome, an Israeli roaming solutions company which produces software that allows mobile network operators to capture and mange mobile phone customers who are outside of their home country. Another, Mobixell Networks, based in the US and Israel, enables internet, broadband, video, messaging and advertising on mobile phones. Mobixell has recently acquired US-based 724 Solution.

Corvil, a latency management systems for securities trading company, based in Ireland is also included, as is Digital Fuel, which operates in the IT financial management segment, allowing financial directors to manage IT-related costs, budgeting, planning and service levels.

Other companies include Frontier Silicon, Bolero, Centerbeam, BlueArc and Crescendo Networks. “Overall the companies are fairly mature. Apax hasn’t done any early-stage deals in a while, meaning even at the original investment the companies were reasonably developed,” said Nick Habgood at Azini Capital. “They are all profitable and cash-generative, with around a $20m to $60m turnover each.”


Skillsoft acquired by Berkshire, Advent and Bain for $1.1B

Dublin based SkillSoft PLC (NASDAQ: SKIL), a leading Software as a Service (SaaS) provider of on-demand e-learning and performance support solutions, announced the acquisition by an investor group including Berkshire Partners, Advent International, and Bain Capital Partners, for $1.1 billion.

“SkillSoft is pleased to announce the closing of this transaction,” said Chuck Moran, who will continue to lead SkillSoft as CEO together with the current management team. “We believe this represents an attractive outcome for our shareholders, and we view the transaction as an endorsement of SkillSoft’s commitment to providing innovative e-learning products, combined with unmatched customer service. We look forward to this next chapter of SkillSoft’s evolution in partnership with Berkshire, Advent and Bain Capital.”

“SkillSoft is a compelling company with an exceptional management team,” said Michael Ascione, a Managing Director of Berkshire Partners. “We look forward to supporting Chuck Moran and the SkillSoft team as they continue to grow SkillSoft’s strong position in the industry.”

“We expect the e-learning industry to exhibit strong growth characteristics over the next decade,” said Steve Tadler, a Managing Partner of Advent International. “We believe that SkillSoft is well-positioned to continue to develop and enhance its e-learning products and services.”

Ian Loring, a Managing Director of Bain Capital Partners, added, “SkillSoft’s strong position in the training industry and compelling economic model create the opportunity to invest in a range of strategic growth initiatives that offer significant long-term potential.”

Orbis completes acquisition of Alphameric for £ 15.47m

ORBIS Technology which is part of the NDS Group has acquired Alphameric Solutions, the UK racing technology supplier to more than 8,700 betting shops.

Orbit is a world leader in interactive gaming and betting solutions with its OpenBet software platform and its  unique OneWallet solution.

Orbis chief executive David Loveday said: “Alphameric Solutions will be a good fit for Orbis, especially as we already share a number of customers. Together we will have the skills, product innovation and technical excellence to take advantage of increasing opportunities across the global gaming sector.”

Peter Bertram, Chairman of Alphameric said, “We have over the years developed Alphameric Solutions to become one of the leading technology suppliers to the UK betting industry, with an outstanding team of highly talented staff. I am sure that Orbis will build on the great success that Alphameric Solutions has enjoyed to date and we wish Orbis every success in the future.”

Midven sells Dynamic Change for £9m

Midven sells Dynamic Change to Allocate Software for up to £9.0 million over three years reaping 8x returns on investment. This includes £1.6 million of cash and receivables acquired with the business on completion.

Midven acquired the risk and performance management software vendor in 2003,  and during its holding period has seen the company’s customer base grow from two to 121 customers.

Dynamic Change is a UK-based software-as-a-service (“SaaS”) provider of regulatory compliance, corporate governance, risk and performance management for the UK healthcare market.

Allocate Software provides workforce optimisation software for companies with large and multi-skilled workforces, globally.

Mil Milojevic and Hugh Ashley, Founders and Managing Directors of Dynamic Change, said: “The strategic fit between Allocate and Dynamic Change is excellent for both customers and staff.  Regulatory compliance and business intelligence are rapidly emerging as some of the most exciting areas of the software market for healthcare and the enlarged group is well positioned to exploit this opportunity.  We look forward to contributing to Allocate’s continued strong growth.”

Commenting on the Acquisition, Ian Bowles, CEO of Allocate, said: “With this Acquisition we continue to broaden Allocate’s application portfolio for the healthcare sector which will now include regulatory compliance corporate governance, risk and performance management. We will also gain domain expertise in Software-as-a-Service. We believe this is an attractive opportunity to achieve additional visibility in our top-line growth and increase our recurring revenue base.”

Roger Wood, Director of Midven, said this is yet another example of how wellmanaged venture capital funds with a regional focus can make excellent returns for their investors from investing in early-stage technology businesses.
“This is the fourth highly profitable exit from the Advantage Fund, and the second in six months. This demonstrates that despite the economic environment, fast growing and profitable companies are still highly attractive acquisition targets. The West Midlands region is really proving itself to be a good home for such businesses and with significant new funds to invest we hope to help even more of them achieve similar success.” he said.

Google Plunks Down for Plink

Google, the search giant has picked up Plink, the maker of an Android application that can recognize and identify artwork.

“The visual search engines of today can do some pretty cool things, but they still have a long way to go,” Plink said in a statement announcing the deal. “We’re looking forward to helping the Goggle’s team build a visual search engine that works not just for paintings or book covers, but for everything you see around you.”

The deal was Google’s first British acquisition, would bring the popular PlinkArt application for Google’s mobile phone in-house. Plink would not be updating the Application focusing instead on adding new features to Google’s Goggles.

Trimble acquires LET Systems

Sunnyvale Calif based Trimble ( NASDAQ ‘TRMB‘ ) acquired privately held LET Systems based in Cork, Ireland from Siemens Venture Capital, Tempovest Capital, Enterprise  Ireland, Bank of Scotland & TVC Holdings

LET Systems, with headquarters in Cork, Ireland, is a world leader in the design, development, and deployment of real-time incident and outage management, network modeling, and workforce management solutions for the utility sector.

Trimble’s Utilities Field Solutions specializes in smart grid geographic information system (GIS) mapping, mobile workforce management, asset and outage management, automated vehicle locating (AVL), and field design, data collection, and inspection solutions for electric, gas, water and wastewater utilities. Trimble has a turnover of USD 1.1B & profits of USD 63M

“Innovative technology is transforming the way utilities are planned, managed, built and maintained. LET Systems and the eRespond smart grid OMS solution provide utility customers the tools to save time and cost to improve decision making and operational efficiencies,” said Katherine Sandford, general manager for Trimble’s Utilities Field Solutions business. The acquisition of LET Systems will strengthen Trimble’s Utilities Field Solutions product portfolio by adding comprehensive, scalable incident and outage management capabilities.”

“Becoming part of Trimble is the ideal next step for eRespond and the team at LET Systems,” said Marcus McCarthy, managing director of LET. “We are looking forward to expanding our customer base with the help of a global team and are anticipating being able to offer broader solutions to our current customers in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. The acquisition will strengthen our partnerships with smart grid industry leaders and allow us to better serve their needs in a rapidly changing marketplace.”