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ACCESS SECURES EXPANSION CAPITAL IN £50 MILLION DEAL WITH LYCEUM

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ACCESS SECURES EXPANSION CAPITAL IN £50 MILLION DEAL WITH LYCEUM

March 31
08:32 2011

Market-leading provider of business management and accounting software, Access, is set to execute a rapid expansion strategy after securing a £50 million deal with growth investor Lyceum Capital.

Access, which operates out of offices in Dublin and the UK, is a software, solutions and consultancy house that provides a full range of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and services, with a particular focus on financial management systems (FMS) and human capital management (HCM) solutions.

It serves a 5,000-strong mid-market client base spread across a broad range of sectors and includes The Irish Wheelchair Association, Control Aer and the Higher Education Authority.

Established in 1991, Access has grown to become a £28 million turnover business with an EBITDA of £5.5 million. The firm has nine offices across the UK and Ireland and employs over 300 people.

The £50 million transaction will see Lyceum Capital invest alongside Access’ existing management, led by CEO Chris Bayne, which has been responsible for driving a 15 per cent growth in sales over the last 12 months. Lyceum’s investment will help the team execute its ambitious growth plans.

Management will be further boosted with the arrival of chairman Gareth Denley who has held senior executive positions at IBM UK, Spring Group plc and Rebus HR (CEO) and non-executive director David England who was formally chief operating officer at Computer Software Group Plc and held senior positions in Solution 6 Group and Tyco International.

The deal sees the firm acquire the stakes previously held by founder Alistair O’Reilly and a number of other shareholders. Lyceum Capital’s Jeremy Hand and Phillip Buscombe have joined the board of Access.

With Lyceum Capital’s funding and strategic support, management will implement an expansion strategy focused on rapid organic growth and the acquisition of complementary solutions.

The strategy will also focus on continuing product development, including the ongoing development of Access’ software as a service (SaaS) capabilities.

Jeremy Hand, who led the deal for Lyceum Capital, said: “Access is a highly attractive company with a successful operating model, proven management team and a strong position in the rapidly growing business segment of the software market.
“This deal will give the business the funding and additional insight and expertise to broaden its services and penetrate further into key vertical industries.”

Chris Bayne, CEO of Access, said: “It’s fitting that on the 20th anniversary of Access’ incorporation we’ve agreed a deal which marks a significant step change in the speed and scale of the business’ expansion and secured the backing of an investment partner with an outstanding track record of generating sustainable growth.

“We’ll be focused on the continued development of our market-leading product and service portfolio through a combination of in-house development and the targeted acquisition of complementary solutions and will be looking to further develop our offering across the mid-market space.

“Our thanks go to exiting group managing director Alistair O’Reilly and non-executive chairman Paul Druckman, who have played a key role in helping the business get to where we are today.”

Access was recognised as one of the top employers in The Sunday Times 100 ‘best companies to work for’ list and during 2010 won various industry awards including Accountancy Age’s ‘software package of the year’, the Green IT Awards for ‘environmental accounting software’ and two SIFT Media Software Satisfaction Awards.

For more information on Access, contact Helen Carpenter on 01206 322575 or visit http://www.theaccessgroup.com.

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