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Management buy-out of leading software protector

22 avr. 2003

Barclays Private Equity, the leading mid-market pan-European private equity house, has backed the €44 million management buy-out of The NCC Group. The company, previously part of the National Computing Centre, specialises in supplying software escrow - independent third party protection and storage of business critical software.  

The transaction sees Barclays Private Equity taking a 65 per cent stake in the business with the current management team of the escrow division leading the deal. The company has experienced substantial growth in recent years, with sales for the financial year 2002-2003 reaching €19 million. The NCC Group will also continue to offer a consultancy service – predominantly in the protection, verification and assurance markets.  

John Walker, who led the transaction for Barclays Private Equity, said: "The NCC Group provides a valuable assurance product for all users of IT. As the largest player in this specialised market, the company has saved businesses across the UK hundreds of thousands of pounds. Already proven as an industry leader, The NCC Group has strong continuing potential, particularly in an economic climate where companies have higher business risks thus necessitating stronger support systems."  

Rob Cotton, Group Managing Director who is leading the deal, said: "The NCC Group is the only significant provider of escrow services in the UK and with the potential market for escrow services currently estimated at approximately €150 million, it has a strong growth potential. Barclays Private Equity’s knowledge of the IT Services sector combined with its long-term vision of the company placed it as the obvious financial partner for this transaction."  

The transaction sees an exit for the current management team and ECI which backed the original management buy-out in 1999. Banking was provided by Barclays Leveraged Finance. Barclays Private Equity was advised by Eversheds and PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

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