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Date Jan 19, 2015
Source TA

TA Associates to Acquire Majority Interest in Access Group from Lyceum Capital

LONDON and BOSTON - TA Associates, a leading global growth private equity firm, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a majority interest in Access Technology Group (Access), a leading business management software company.

TA will acquire its stake from Lyceum Capital, a growth investor. Financial terms of the transaction, which is expected to close later this month, were not disclosed.

Access’s software covers finance, HR and payroll, business intelligence, supply chain, CRM and warehousing, and can be deployed in the cloud, in a hosted environment or on-site. The company’s applications help over 6,000 customers – including some of the most innovative and rapidly-growing enterprises in the UK – achieve operational excellence. Colchester-based Access Group was founded in 1991 and today employs 750 people. In December, it acquired cloud hosting specialist StratoGen.

“With a history of consistent growth, an impressive customer base, and an experienced and committed management team, Access is a highly attractive investment for TA,” said J. Morgan Seigler, a Director at TA Associates who will join the Access Technology Group Board of Directors. “The Access team has proven adept at identifying, acquiring and integrating businesses, and we see continued opportunities for inorganic, as well as organic, growth at the company. We will employ TA’s longstanding and proven management-friendly approach, working closely with Access to further build value in the business.”

Ajit Nedungadi, a Managing Director at TA Associates, will also join Access Technology Group’s Board of Directors.

“I am very pleased to welcome TA Associates as a partner in Access and look forward to leveraging their many years of experience investing in the software industry to help drive the next phase of our growth,” said Chris Bayne, chief executive of Access. “With our world-class team and products, and the support of Lyceum Capital, we have built a commanding position in the market, combining strong organic growth with strategic acquisitions to transform our customer proposition. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Lyceum team and the departing non-executive team of Gareth Denley and David England.”

Lyceum backed a £50 million management buyout of Access in 2011. Since then, total revenues have more than doubled to over £60 million and EBITDA has grown threefold. Organic revenue growth rates since the buyout have averaged 12% annually and have been supported by significant internal investment in the product portfolio, including aCloud, Access’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering. Over the same period, Access acquired six of its remaining resellers and completed 12 targeted acquisitions to expand its solution set and deepen its presence in key vertical markets.

“Since our investment, Access has significantly strengthened its position as a leading provider of software services to mid-sized businesses in the UK, in an increasing number of sectors and across a broad range of business-critical functions,” said Jeremy Hand of Lyceum Capital. “Over the past few years it has been an absolute pleasure supporting Access and its management team, led by Chris Bayne, and we wish them well as they continue their journey, capitalizing on the significant opportunity presented by their excellent product in a fragmented but growing sector. This exit represents another strong return for investors and provides further evidence of Lyceum’s expertise in helping to build world-class technology businesses.”

Lyceum and Access are being advised on the transaction by William Blair (exclusive financial advisor), Travers Smith (legal) and PwC (accounting and tax). TA Associates is being advised by Debevoise & Plimpton (legal) and Harris Williams & Co. (financial advisor).

About Access Technology Group
Access is a leading author of integrated business management software. The portfolio spans solutions for ERP, finance, HR, Payroll, warehousing, business intelligence, professional service automation and manufacturing. More than 6,000 UK businesses and not-for-profit organisations use Access solutions to improve their performance, profitability and drive growth, unlocking their business potential through improved business insight. Access’ industry-specific solutions differentiate it in the market, and templated solutions make for rapid and easy deployment. With Access, businesses can automate operations, streamline processes and share business information anytime, anywhere. Access’ aCloud solutions integrate with its finance, ERP, HR and payroll solutions, allowing Access customers to test the cloud model without significant changes to their existing infrastructure, and with minimal cost. Designed as an open platform, aCloud can also integrate with third-party systems - whether in the cloud or on-premise. For more information, please visit www.theaccessgroup.com.

About TA Associates
TA Associates is one of the largest and most experienced global growth private equity firms. The firm has invested in more than 440 companies around the world and has raised $18 billion in capital. With offices in Boston, Menlo Park, London, Mumbai and Hong Kong, TA Associates leads buyouts and minority recapitalizations of profitable growth companies in the technology, financial services, business services, healthcare and consumer industries. More information about TA Associates can be found at www.ta.com.