Wednesday, 9 April 2008

COA completes its 9th acquisition

COA (CedarOpenAccounts) has acquired UK human resource (HR) software company, ASR Computers. ASR is COA's 9th acquisition which have included OpenPeople, Goldenhill and Strata in the HR - a sector which is worth an estimated £240m. Only three weeks back COA acquired UK eProcurement solutions and services specialist, Belmin Group. Other acquisitions since the 'old' Cedar was the subject of an Alchemy-backed public-to-private rescue in Jan 2002 have included OpenAccounts, QSP and Grampian Software.

COA - led by CEO Fiona Timothy - is the UK market leader for the supply of Financial Management Systems (FMS) into the mid-market and is particularly strong on the public and non-profit sectors. It has a strong recurring revenue base from maintenance and associated support as well as a pretty secure upgrade and 'bolt-on' revenue stream from existing clients. In other words it is not as exposed to the vagaries of new customer sales as some others. In the year to March 07, COA increased turnover 16% to £50.5m and increased EBITDA 12% to £10m. My guess would be around 20% growth in the year ending March 08 with the 'normal' exceptionally good 20% operating margin.

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