Intuita uses its intuition for management buy-out


City centre Manchester-based Intuita, recognised as a leading supplier of software to the UK Construction Industry, has undergone a management buy-out.

The successful sales-led software company is dedicated to servicing the UK Construction Industry through its Unison Construction product – a construction specific Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) application. Its key differentiator is its fully integrated support for the project based commercial operations of its clients, complementing the back-office financials and procurement applications.

Some of the top 10 UK construction companies manage their entire business on Intuita software with household name clients including Wates, Bovis Homes, Carillion and Skanska. Skanska has just awarded a £2.5 million five year contract to Intuita for the supply of financial and operational systems.

The construction software market is extremely fragmented and the opportunity exists for Intuita to achieve the position of market leader in software solutions. Intuita’s strengths will enable the company to use itself as a vehicle to drive consolidation in the market and acquire suitable companies to achieve its expansion plans.

Leading Intuita’s growth plans is Richard Beaton (48) who has a track record of success in creating and growing sales-led IT software and services businesses. He has built up two other software companies in the last 15 years, both of which have become market leaders in their sectors.

In addition to his role at Intuita Beaton is chairman of Crewe-based Boldon James Ltd, market leader in the provision of military messaging software, which underwent an MBO in June this year. He is also chairman of the Montagu-backed Micro Librarian Systems, which provides library automation solutions for the UK education sector. Beaton’s background and experience mean that he is viewed as the natural choice to lead this consolidation in the construction software market.

Richard Beaton, chief executive officer said; “2005 has resulted in the development of a strategic plan to grow the business and acquire other construction software vendors. The construction market is a vibrant part of the UK economy but our sector is extremely fragmented with many small players and no dominant player. There are considerable opportunities for Intuita to grow organically and also to lead a major consolidation by acquiring companies to enhance our offering to our clients.”

Advising the MBO team was Clearwater Corporate Finance, led by partner Carl Houghton and director Jane Mercer. In a key career move for Jane Mercer, she is now joining Intuita as their finance director after nearly six years with Clearwater.

Bank of Scotland are funding the MBO with Peter Smith leading the deal.

Intuita was originally founded in 1985 as SAM Systems, a supplier of accounting and distribution systems. In 2001 an MBO was undertaken from Anite plc led by Richard Beaton. Intuita then acquired the UK Construction Practice from Unisys Corporation to bring on board the CONAX and Prospero product sets.

The cutting edge Unison Construction product was launched in 2003 following 1,400 man-days of development investment. In 2004 Unison Fulfil (Intuita’s distribution product) was released following substantial investment. This was followed by Unison Fulfil being sold to US based Infor to leave a standalone construction business.

Based in Churchgate House, Oxford Street in Manchester, Intuita employs almost 30 staff and currently has a turnover approaching £4 million. In the last two years the company has been very successful in attracting new business including Erith Construction, SDC Construction and Peter Walker.

Commenting on her new role at Intuita and the deal, Jane Mercer added; “This is a great career move for me. Intuita are poised to enter into a new and exciting phase of their development and I’m looking forward to playing a valuable role in this.”