East Anglia: Lyceum Capital back �50m buy-out at Access

BUSINESS software company Access is poised for further expansion after being acquired by its management team and investment company Lyceum Capital in a deal valued at �50million.

Access, based at Stratford St Mary on the Suffolk-Essex border, supplies management and accounting software to around 5,000 mid-sized clients.

It was established in 1991 and is now a �28million turnover business with a workforce of more than 300 based at nine offices around the UK and Ireland.

Under the deal announced yesterday, Lyceum will invest in the company alongside its existing management, led by chief executive Chris Bayne. They will acquire the stakes previously held by founder Alistair O’Reilly and a number of other shareholders.

Gareth Denley, who has held senior executive positions at IBM UK, Spring Group and Rebus HR, will become chairman of the group.

Also joining the board will be David England, formerly chief operating officer at Computer Software Group, together Lyceum representatives Jeremy Hand and Phillip Buscombe.

Mr Hand, who led the deal for Lyceum, said: “Access is a highly attractive company with a successful operating model, proven management team and a strong position in the rapidly growing business segment of the software market.

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“This deal will give the business the funding and additional insight and expertise to broaden its services and penetrate further into key vertical industries.”

Mr Bayne said: “It’s fitting that on the 20th anniversary of Access’ incorporation we’ve agreed a deal which marks a significant step change in the speed and scale of the business’s expansion and secured the backing of an investment partner with an outstanding track record of generating sustainable growth. We’ll be focused on the continued development of our market-leading product and service portfolio through a combination of in-house development and the targeted acquisition of complementary solutions.

“Our thanks go to exiting group managing director Alistair O’Reilly and non-executive chairman Paul Druckman, who have played a key role in helping the business get to where we are today,” he added.