OK, we admit we don’t understand the private equity side of corporate finance, to us it’s just a funny-money world where investors pass the corporate parcel in the hope it is not in their hands when the music stops playing however here are some figures…
• In March 2007 the Computer Software Group (or CSG which by then had acquired the legal software suppliers AIM, Laserform and Videss) delisted from the AIM market in an MBO and refinancing package worth over just over £122 million. HgCapital invested £120m in the deal and the MBO team included Vin Murria, Michael Jackson (no, not dead popstar) and Barbara Firth.
• In June 2007, after acquiring another legal software supplier Mountain, CSG was the subject of a merger and recapitalisation deal worth £500 million and became part of the IRIS Software Group, Hellman & Friedman acquired both businesses from HgCapital which remained a significant shareholder.
• In March 2011, the IRIS Group was split into two divisions – IRIS Accountancy Solutions and IRIS Software Group (which included the IRIS Legal division)
• In December 2011 HgCapital invested £26.5 million in IRIS to reacquire a majority shareholding.
• In March 2013 (today) HgCapital sold Computer Software Holdings (which includes the IRIS Software Group and IRIS Legal) for £110 million to AIM-listed Advanced Computer Software Group team including Vin Murria, Michael Jackson (no, not the now deceased dead popstar) and Barbara Firth. This transaction has been financed through Advanced’s existing cash resources, by a recent share placing that raised £44m (gross), by new bank debt and a new £105m bank facility. The acquisition statement adds that it expects to see £1.4m of early cost savings plus a further £1.0m of cost synergies targeted within 18 months. There is a net debt of £65m at date of acquisition.
COMMENT: Dear HgCapital, please feel free to invest in Legal Technology Insider Limited although we cannot guarantee being able to (apparently) reduce the value of your investment by £36.5 million in six years.