Friday, 28 March 2008

Civica in £190m MBO

Civica has agreed a buy-out by management, backed by 3i, worth 270p per share in cash (a premium of 34% on yesterday’s close) or £190m in total. Rumours of this had been swirling around for months - involving other 'trade' purchasers and Alchemy (Civica's original PE backers).

Cornwall Bidco, the bid vehicle, will be controlled by 3i, together with the management team and the executives who will own a minority shareholding. Simon Dowling will continue as CEO.

For the twelve months to 30 September 2007, Civica reported revenue of £126.9m, up 1% on the £125m it made in 2006. Operating profit before goodwill amortisation, exceptional items and LTIP charges, was up 16% to £21.6m. This slowed revenue growth was due to across-the-board difficulties in the local government marketplace - which is affecting others too.

Civica was a spin out after the 'old' Sanderson was acquired by Alchemy in 2000. Civica IPOed in March 2004 at 175p valuing the company at £79m. Not too bad a return for 4 years I guess. The timing is also interesting. The Civica deal will put the spotlight on Anite which has been trying to sell its local government operations for some time - but with no success.


I wonder how much the CGT deadline affected the timing for Civica's management team?

Totally unrelated, I also note this morning that Aveva's CEO Richard Longdon, purchased 280,000 ordinary shares at a price of 1058p. Longdon sold his holding of 500,000 shares on 19th Feb citing the new CGT legislation as the reason. so he's waited the required 30 days before repurchasing part of the holding. Longdon's shareholding is now 316,000 ordinary shares and in addition he retains options over 135,376 shares

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