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Oakley Advisory Limited (“Oakley”), the independent corporate finance firm offering specialist advice across the TMT sector, has advised Inflexion Private Equity (“Inflexion” or the “Company”) on the simultaneous buyouts of Energy Helpline (“EHL”) and UK Web Media (“UKWM”), to create Comparison Technologies, a multi-channel price comparison enabler in home services.

Founded in 2002, EHL is a price comparison tool for the electricity and gas sectors. It operates in both the direct and affiliate channels via on and off-line customer conversion. UKWM is a marketing solutions and price comparison business that was founded in 2001 and operates a number of price comparison websites which help customers to compare and switch a range of home services focused on TV and telephony.

Price comparison is rapidly becoming an important component of the sizeable home services market. Consumer demand for comparison and switching in home services is growing as people have more choices, both from new and existing suppliers.

Inflexion is a UK mid-market private equity firm, investing in high growth, entrepreneurial businesses with ambitious management teams and working in partnership with them to accelerate growth. Inflexion’s flexible approach allows it to back both majority and minority investments, typically investing £10m to £150m of equity in each deal.

The Oakley team comprised Daniel Havercroft, Partner, Anthony Yaneza, Director and Harry Williams, Analyst.

Daniel Havercroft, Managing Director at Oakley, commented:

“We are delighted to have advised Inflexion on this transaction and believe that Comparison Technologies is perfectly positioned to help consumers of home services save money, while offering providers with a range of services to help them optimise their customer acquisition strategy. With Inflexion’s industry knowledge and experience, we believe that Comparison Technologies has a fantastic partner to grow and develop with.”

Oakley Advisory Limited (“Oakley”), the independent corporate finance firm offering specialist advice across the TMT sector, has advised Niu Solutions Holdings Limited (“Niu Solutions” or the “Company”) on its sale to Computer Systems Integration Group Limited (“CSI”) for an undisclosed sum.

Niu Solutions is a managed service provider focused on the finance and retail sectors. Headquartered in Bagshot and with approximately 80 employees, Niu Solutions’ services include cloud & hybrid services, desktop management, workforce mobility, voice & collaboration and security & compliance.

CSI, founded in 1983, is a managed application and security services provider offering cyber security, SAP implementation and infrastructure services. Following a buy and build strategy under Blackhawk Capital, MML Capital Partners acquired a majority stake in August 2017.

The transaction was completed on 23 February 2018 and will enable CSI to continue to execute on its strategic vision in being a leading ICT services provider. Oakley acted as sole financial advisor to the Company. The Oakley team comprised Chris Godsmark, Managing Partner, Christian Craggs, Managing Director, Zishaan Arshad, Director and Sarthak Sawlani, Analyst.

“We are looking forward to being part of the CSI group and continuing to grow Niu Solutions. The Oakley team demonstrated deep industry knowledge throughout the transaction and it has been a pleasure to work with them.”

Shaun Ledgerwood (CEO, Niu Solutions)

“We are delighted to have worked with Shaun and the Niu Solutions team on this transaction. We have every confidence the business will continue to flourish under the new management of CSI. The transaction highlights Oakley’s strong position in the IT Managed Services sector and track record of selling businesses to strategic buyers.”

Christian Craggs (Managing Director, OAL)

Oakley Advisory

Oakley is one of Europe’s leading independent corporate finance firms offering expert, specialist advice across a range of sectors including Telecoms, Technology, Online, Media, Datacentres and Hosting. We are unique in the mid-market in offering highly specialised sector insight and knowledge combined with our Equity Capital Markets capability, meaning we can provide the fullest possible suite of advice across both public and private markets.

This transaction marks the seventeenth deal we have announced or completed in the last twelve months, which includes advising Cimpress on the sale of Albumprinter to Gilde Buy Out Partners, GoDaddy on its sale of PlusServer to BC Partners, CityFibre on its acquisition of Entanet, The Unbelievable Machine Company on its sale to Basefarm and Gigaclear on its equity fundraising.

Oakley Advisory Limited (“Oakley”), the independent corporate finance firm offering specialist advice across the TMT sector, has advised the Comapi group of companies (“Comapi” or the “Company”) on its sale to dotDigital Group Plc (“dotDigital”) for cash consideration of £11 million.

Comapi is a fast-growing business focused on the omni-channel messaging and cloud communication market. Headquartered in Cheltenham with approximately 30 employees, Comapi has built a scalable software platform that allows businesses to communicate with their customers across multiple conversational messaging channels including the growing market for live chat.

The transaction was completed on 21 November 2017 and will enable dotDigital to execute on its strategic vision to become an omni-channel marketing automation platform. The deal marks a successful exit for Comapi’s previous funders, Technology Venture Partners LLP and a selection of Angels.

“It has been a pleasure working with the team at Oakley. Their experience in, and comprehensive knowledge of, the market made them the obvious Corporate Finance partner for this successful sale process.”

Martin Hall (Chairman, Comapi)

“We are looking forward to being part of the dotDigital team and continuing to rapidly grow the fantastic business we have built. I would like to thank Oakley for the team’s excellent support throughout the transaction.”

Paul Putman (CEO, Comapi)

Oakley acted as sole financial advisor to the Company. The Oakley team comprised Christian Craggs, Managing Director, Zishaan Arshad, Assistant Director and Alexandre Beaudet, Analyst.

“We are delighted to have worked with Martin, Paul and the Comapi team on this transaction. Having advised Esendex on its sale earlier this year, we are pleased to have completed our second transaction in the cloud communication and messaging market within the space of six months. The transaction highlights Oakley’s strong position in the technology sector and track record of selling businesses to strategic buyers.”

Christian Craggs (Managing Director, OAL)

Oakley Advisory Limited (“Oakley”), the independent corporate finance firm offering specialist advice across the TMT sector, has advised Redstor Holdings Limited (“Redstor” or the “Company”) on an investment by Beech Tree Private Equity.

Redstor, which was founded by Paul Evans and Tony Ruane in 1998, is a leading provider of cloud data management software and services. Headquartered in Reading, with operations in South Africa, it is best known for its cloud backup and recovery services. Redstor has also expanded its offering to incorporate cloud archiving and disaster recovery with plans to release data insight functionality soon to address compliance challenges such as the GDPR.

Beech Tree Private Equity is a private equity firm providing capital and expertise to fast growing businesses across the UK. Beech Tree Private Equity invest £10-£40 million into high growth companies typically valued at between £10 and £75 million. The business was founded by two experienced private equity investors, Andy Marsh and Paul Franks, who have over 25 years’ experience in private equity targeting high growth sub-sectors.

Oakley acted as sole financial advisor to the Company. The Oakley team comprised James Chapman-Andrews, Managing Director, Marc Jones, Assistant Director and Ollie Temple, Analyst.

James Chapman-Andrews, Managing Director at Oakley, commented:

“We have had a longstanding relationship with Paul, Tony and the wider Redstor management team, and are consequently delighted to have advised them on this transaction. We believe Beech Tree will prove a fantastic partner for Redstor, and its backing will help accelerate Redstor’s product capability and growth through acquisition.”

Oakley Advisory Limited (“Oakley”), the independent corporate finance firm offering specialist advice across the TMT sector, has advised GoDaddy Inc. (“GoDaddy”) on the  proposed sale of its PlusServer business to funds advised by BC Partners, for an enterprise value of €397 million. Subject to regulatory approval, the deal is expected to close by the end of August.

PlusServer is headquartered in Cologne, Germany and is a leading Managed Hosting provider in Germany. Based on a comprehensive product portfolio, which is optimised for the needs of SMEs and large companies, PlusServer develops individual hosting and cloud solutions.

The sale is in line with GoDaddy’s stated intent to explore strategic alternatives for the PlusServer business, which it acquired as part of the Host Europe Group (HEG) acquisition. The Oakley team comprised Chris Godsmark, Managing Partner, Daniel Havercroft, Partner, Anthony Yaneza, Director, Marc Jones, Assistant Director and Marijn van Baar, Associate.

The deal is the 100th transaction since Oakley Advisory and its predecessor was founded in late 2007. The PlusServer sale demonstrates Oakley’s knowledge and extensive network in the hosting and IT managed services sectors and its track record of significantly sized mid-market deals in Germany.

Chris Godsmark said: 

“This has been a busy last few months for Oakley, with 13 deals either completed or signed in 2017 alone and 20 deals completed or signed in the past 12 months. We remain as committed as ever to providing high quality service to our clients, including corporates and PE funds and in sale and buy-side processes.”

Commenting on the PlusServer process, David Popowitz, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at GoDaddy, said:

“Throughout this process, the Oakley team demonstrated deep industry knowledge and relationships, and managed a fast-paced and competitive auction process that produced an outstanding result for GoDaddy. The entire team was a pleasure to work with and we look forward to working with them again on future assignments.”

Oakley Advisory
Oakley is one of Europe’s leading independent corporate finance firms offering expert, specialist advice across a range of sectors including Telecoms, Technology, Online, Media, Datacentres and Hosting. We are unique in the mid-market in offering highly specialised sector insight and knowledge combined with our Equity Capital Markets capability, meaning we can provide the fullest possible suite of advice across both public and private markets.