Foot Anstey's growth and venture capital team have advised on the US/UK demerger and subsequent sale of APSU, a market leading (Gloucestershire headquartered) IT managed services company (and IBM Premier Business Partner) operating in the UK and the US. The deal followed an innovative and somewhat novel structure and negotiations took place and concluded over just a few weeks.
This deal has quickly followed on from the Business Growth Fund's investment into APSU in 2014, where Foot Anstey's growth and venture capital team advised BGF.
APSU's US business and certain IP has been hived off into APSU USA Ltd, and that part of the business will continue trading and growing outside of the UK under the APSU brand in conjunction with its US strategic partner, Infosystems.
The APSU UK business was simultaneously sold to CSI Group for a confidential sum, and as part of that deal the APSU CEO Steve Morris has taken an equity stake in the buyer. CSI is an ambitious private equity backed managed services provider and this deal will significantly increase the size of its business and recurring revenue streams.
BGF made a capital return on its 2014 investment and has retained an equity interest in APSU USA Ltd with a view to continuing to support APSU's expansion into the US.
Foot Anstey Senior Associate Henry Humphreys said: "We were pleased to be involved in what was a complicated and very fast moving transaction, and the team here are proud to have played a key part in pulling it all together. We are looking forward to seeing Steve and team continue to succeed in the US."
Ned Dorbin, who has managed the APSU investment for BGF, said: “In a short space of time Steve has built an award winning UK leading business. The attractiveness of APSU’s UK business has been endorsed by its acquisition by CSI Group.
“We are pleased to have successfully completed this transaction and we are very happy to have the continuing opportunity to back Steve and his team as they build the business in the US. We are sure that there is lots more growth to come.
“BGF exists to help entrepreneurs realise their ambitions to grow their businesses and take advantage of market opportunities. The returns we have made from this investment will now be reinvested into other entrepreneurs working to scale-up their companies.”
Steve Morris commented: "BGF’s funding allowed us to accelerate growth, strengthen our team, broaden the product and service offerings and most importantly to expand our international presence. With the acquisition of APSU, CSI is well placed to help our clients on their transformation journey and in particular in their move to the cloud. The very clear synergies in both services and solutions that are delivered by both CSI and APSU presents an exciting opportunity for our clients to benefit from this increased scale; recognising the successful businesses that both APSU and CSI have built in the UK."
“APSU Inc will now be able to accelerate its growth in the US, better serving our new and existing customer base. On this exciting journey BGF will continue to bring its unique mix of long term capital and support and I am confident that, together, we will be a force to be reckoned with in the USA."
Foot Anstey were advising the principal shareholders (including BGF) as well as APSU USA Ltd. The team was led by senior associate Henry Humphreys, who was supported by Adam McKenna, associate Ben Harris, solicitor, Ayah Snober, trainee solicitor (corporate), Ed Bodey, senior associate, Martin Cuell, partner (commercial / IP), David Williams, associate (real estate), John Pindard, tax director, Anna Parker, senior associate (tax), Karen Bates, partner and Claire Holland, senior associate (employment).