Omers Private Equity has paid £390m for public-sector services and software supplier Civica. Civica software is widely used in the UK local government case management systems sector but still has a foothold in the law firms market with its Galaxy Legal product.

A metaphorical For Sale sign was erected by former owner 3i in the autumn of 2012 but it was unclear if it would end up in the hands of a rival, another venture capitalist or in a management buyout. The Omers deal represents a good return on the £190m that 3i paid in 2008 for Civica when it acquired the AIM-listed firm and took it private again. Civica CEO Simon Downing commented “There is no change to our trading companies as we carry on business as normal led by the existing management team.” he said in a canned statement.

Omers PE – the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement Scheme – is the investment arm of a pension fund which has over $60bn in assets and $6bn of investments under management. In the last set of results for the year to 30 September 2012, Civica UK turned over £109.6m, compared to £99.6m in the previous twelve months and profit grew nearly 12% to £8m.

Ancient history: Civica Legal (former sales director Tim Spriggs says the Galaxy chocolate bars the company used to give away on its exhibition stands ruined his figure) was previously Sanderson GA and before that General Automation, whose QNIX software in turn took over from the mid-1980s vendor QDOS.