Wetherby firm announces £72m takeover offer

Software firm Proactis has finally accepted a takeover offer over nearly two years after it first started looking for a suitable buyer.

Monday, 10th May 2021, 10:46 am
Wetherby-based software firm Proactis has accepted a takeover offer worth nearly £72m from Cafe Bidco Ltd.

Under the deal, announced on Friday, the entire share capital of the Wetherby firm, which makes spend management software, will be acquired by Cafe Bidco Ltd for £71.6m.

Proactis currently employs more than 500 people and has operations in the United States, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

The AIM-listed company began a formal sale process in July 2019 to explore a number of approaches and expressions of interest, but pulled the plug last spring after the process failed to identify an offer it could recommend to shareholders.

The Bidco offer, which pays 75p per share, was described as “compelling” by Proactis chairman Alan Aubrey. Mr Aubrey said: “We are proud of the significant progress that Proactis has made over the past year, particularly after a very difficult period in Proactis’ history.

“Whilst we remain excited about the prospects for the business, we have been in discussions with Bidco and received a proposal that we believe is compelling for all of our stakeholders.

“We are pleased that Bidco is supportive of the acceleration of Proactis’ existing strategy and believe that Proactis will benefit from Pollen Street Capital’s considerable financial resources, longer-term approach to value creation, and significant experience in successfully backing high-growth businesses to achieve their full potential.”

He added that the acquisition would make Proactis nimbler in executing its strategy and better able to sustain longer-term growth.

Cafe Bidco is a wholly-owned subsidiary of investment funds advised and managed by Pollen Street Capital, a London-based investment management company which also has an office in New York. Matthew Potter, partner of Pollen Street Capital, said: “We believe Proactis would strongly benefit from a return to private ownership with the support of a growth-focused shareholder, which would enable Proactis to accelerate its plans to capitalise on a clear market opportunity.”