Yorkshire group buys majority stake in Staffcare

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The SimplyBiz Group, headed up by businessman Ken Davy, has acquired a majority stake in software provider Staffcare.

Huddersfield-based SimplyBiz said the deal will strengthen its position in the compliance and business support services sector as it aims to become the leading provider to financial advisers in the UK.

The firm said that Staffcare founder and CEO Phil Hollingdale and its global business head, Graham Jarvis, will stay on to drive the business forward with increased backing from SimplyBiz.

Staffcare provides software and support to power flexible benefits and auto-enrolment solutions to many of the UK’s largest employee benefit consultants.

Mr Davy, SimplyBiz’s chairman, said: “Staffcare is well positioned as the market leader in providing important technology to power flexible benefit and auto-enrolment solutions for employers.

“We believe these will be key markets for many of the firms we serve and therefore it was important to us that we acquired the best and most innovative business in this field.”

He added: “For Staffcare’s existing client base, we will ensure continued investment in product development to ensure they have the very best software available in the market.”

SimplyBiz employs 165 people and provides services to more than 5,000 financial advisers and IFAs across the country.

It is based at John Smith’s Stadium at Huddersfield Giants’ ground, where Mr Davy is also chairman.

The deal was structured and funded by Yorkshire advisers with the corporate finance team at accountancy firm BDO LLP acting as lead advisers to the management team at SimplyBiz.

Yorkshire Bank provided funding for the deal and Beechbrook Capital provided mezzanine finance.

SimplyBiz’s group finance director, Sarah Turvey, who was named Best Finance Director at the Yorkshire Finance Director Awards in 2009, led the team internally.

Tim Clarke, M&A partner at BDO LLP in Leeds, said: “This deal epitomises a great strategic fit and provides SimplyBiz with a fantastic opportunity to bolster its growth ambitions.

“Staffcare’s offering and experience in auto-enrolment solutions, which represents the biggest pension reform in a generation, will be a key growth market for the business.

“SimplyBiz is leading the way for this highly regulated, compliance-heavy sector.”