Clearwater advises CSC on sale to Trimble Navigation

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Livingbridge has sold its stake in software developer CSC World to NASDAQ-listed Trimble, in a deal advised by Clearwater Corporate Finance’s technology team.

CSC develops innovative software and supports structural engineers across six continents. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Pudsey, West Yorkshire, CSC was founded in 1975 as a subsidiary of a Civil and Engineering Consultancy and became independent in 1987. In January 2008, Livingbridge invested in a management buyout led by managing director Mark Roberts with the ambition to expand the business internationally beyond its current markets of UK, Ireland, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.

Over the past five years and against a difficult economic backdrop the business has remained a UK market leader and has been able to grow and develop its loyal customer base through expansion into new geographic markets including the U.S., Middle East, Africa and India. At the same time the business has invested in significant product development as part of a longer term strategy that underpins the next phase of CSC’s growth story.

Trimble applies technology to make field and mobile workers in businesses and government significantly more productive. Solutions are focused on applications requiring position or location – including surveying, construction, agriculture, fleet and asset management, public safety and mapping. In addition to utilising positioning technologies, such as GPS, lasers and optics, Trimble solutions may include software content specific to the needs of the user. Wireless technologies are utilised to deliver the solution to the user and to ensure a tight coupling of the field and the back office. Founded in 1978, Trimble is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.

Mark Roberts, Managing Director at CSC, said: “With the support of Livingbridge, the CSC team have grown the business through a period of the most challenging economic conditions. We have delivered on our plans to build CSC internationally through both organic expansion and acquisition. Livingbridge’s strategic thinking and flexible approach have enabled us to take a long-term view of both product development and overall strategy. We are now in an excellent position to continue our growth story under the ownership of Trimble.”

A team at Clearwater Corporate Finance led by partner Carl Houghton, with support from directors Emma Rodgers and Nick Horrocks, advised CSC on the transaction.

Carl Houghton, head of TMT at Clearwater Corporate Finance, said: “This is a transformational deal for CSC and it has been a pleasure to advise them over the course of a decade. It was very clear early on that there was a strategic fit with Trimble and we expect CSC to continue to thrive in its new home. The deal also represents a significant transaction in the developing global Building Information Modelling (BIM) sector and is a prime example of UK assets being acquired by an overseas buyer.”

Pete Clarke, partner at Livingbridge, added: “CSC has been a successful investment for Livingbridge – we have thoroughly enjoyed working alongside Mark and his team. Over the last five years, Mark and the team have developed the geographic footprint of the business to give it true global reach across six continents. At the same time we have made significant investment in developing exciting new products for its loyal and expanding customer base. We believe that the foundations for the next phase of CSC’s journey are in place and we are confident that the business will continue to prosper under Trimble’s ownership.”