Proactis seals £102m deal for US company

A group of office workers at Proactis.
A group of office workers at Proactis.
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Software firm Proactis has agreed to acquire a US-based spend management solutions company in a deal worth over £100m.

The Wetherby-based business will pay £102.4m for Perfect Commerce, with AIM listed Proactis raising £70m through a share placing at 165p to help pay for the acquisition. The rest of the cost will be covered by a debt facility.

The acquisition is classed as a reverse takeover under AIM rules and therefore the deal will require shareholder approval at a general meeting.

Proactis believes it will accelerate its growth strategy, providing the firm with global scale-up.

Tim Sykes, chief financial officer of Proactis, said: “This is a highly complementary and transformational acquisition which we expect to be earnings enhancing in the financial year ending July 31, 2018.

“The acquisition will accelerate Proactis’ growth and bring substantial global scale to the group, positioning us to exploit the high growth areas of the spend management market and enabling us to provide our customers with an even broader product offering.

“In addition, it will build our scale in the US, UK and mainland Europe, with the enlarged group having a uniquely balanced and scaled commercial and operational capability across all of those territories.

“The combined solution set will enable us to target both larger and more complex customer contract opportunities, wherever that customer might be located.”

George Hampton Wall Jr, currently president and chief executive officer of Perfect Commerce, will replace Rod Jones as CEO of Proactis. Mr Jones has retired from the board with immediate effect.

Mr Sykes said: “We are delighted that Hampton is joining the Board at this exciting time. Hampton brings with him considerable experience in the industry, as well as a specific skillset in acquisition integration, and he will be of great value to the company as we continue to grow.

“On behalf of everyone at Proactis, I would like to thank Rod Jones for his contribution to the growth and success of Proactis to this point and wish him a happy retirement.”

Mr Wall said: “We are excited to be joining Proactis at a time of such rapid innovation in the industry.”

Perfect Commerce develops and sells cloud-based, technology-led, spend management solutions for the public and private sector markets.

It serves approximately 150 customers with over 1.3 million users across more than 80 countries, 20 languages and 100 currencies.

The business also operates its own proprietary supplier network which has approximately 970,000 suppliers connected to it. The network allows those suppliers to collaborate and transact electronically with their customers.

KPMG Deal Advisory worked on the deal. Chris Stott, KPMG partner at KPMG, said: “This transaction continues the strong trend of consolidation in the tech sector and in particular financial support services.”