And an interesting week it has been, starting with the announcement in the Sunday Times that Lyceum Capital had exited their ERP investment Access Group to TA Associates in a rumoured, and a very nice rumour it was too, €295m transaction. Lyceum invested four years ago in a €65 transaction and the business has followed a buy-and-build model throughout the investment period, picking up both its partners and some small IP owners including some interesting cloud-model businesses that formed part of its new aCloud platform. Best of luck to the team under its new owners, as it looks to take on some of the big boys in the ERP world.
Continuing the good week for UK-owned businesses, it was reported that Apple had picked up Semetric – a music analytics start-up which is best known for its Musicmetrics analytics service. Musicmetrics gathers data about what tracks are popular, using a range of sources such as music sales, streaming and social media noise. Sources say Apple paid around €40m for the privilege.
Another Tech giant was in the market this week too – Microsoft acquired Israel-based Equivio, a text analytics service which helps businesses to tackle legal and compliance issues when managing large quantities of emails and documents. Equivio is the latest in a long line of Israeli businesses being picked up by some of the industry giants, thanks to a fantastic culture of innovation in that region. Microsoft reportedly paid around €170m for the business.
Whilst we see plenty of US businesses buying up these great innovative overseas operators, what we don’t tend to see so much of is M&A going the other way – which is why it was interesting to note Indian-based Mindtree’s acquisition of Discoverture this week. Discoverture, based in Arizona, is a provider of services to the insurance industry and Mindtree picked up the business for around €10m.
Last but not least, Manchester-based NCC Group highlighted that UK technology groups like to buy overseas too when it picked up Belgium- and Luxembourg-based Open Registry Group for a maximum consideration of €20m. Open Registry Group is a group of domain service companies providing backend registry operations and the deal strengthens NCC’s position in mainland Europe.