ECI books 2.1x on healthcare IT provider

The London-headquartered firm has sold the firm for £57.5m, generating ECI a 2.1x, which can go up due to guarantees on short term performance.

ECI Partners has sold healthcare IT provider Ascribe to EMIS Group, an AIM-listed clinical software supplier. 

The UK-headquartered firm sold the business for £57.7 million (€69 million, $91 million), which could increase depending on Ascribe’s short term performance. 

ECI has generated a 2.1x return on the investment, according to a statement. 

ECI bought Ascribe in 2009 in a £33 million public to private transaction. Ascribe provides IT solutions for the healthcare sector. It provides IT systems for e-prescribing, pharmacy, mental health, patient administration and A&E systems, for a client base that includes 70 percent of NHS Trusts in the UK, as well as healthcare providers in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand. 

“Ascribe’s strategy was to invest heavily in software development, [which] has enabled [it] to deliver strong growth in software sales and orders,” David Ewing, managing partner at ECI said in a statement. 

Today’s exit is the the third in as many months for ECI. In July, it sold CliniSys Group, a European IT provider for clinical laboratories, to UK-based Montagu Private Equity for approximately £100 million, netting the firm a 2.5x return. That same month, ECI floated Conviviality Retail on the AIM market, earning ECI a 4.5x return. 

ECI is currently investing its £437 million ECI 9 vehicle, a 2008 vintage, which is approximately 65 percent deployed. In April, ECI invested in rail tour company Amber Travel. In December last year, it also acquired a majority stake in Citation, an employment law consultancy firm, for £50 million (€62 million, $80 million).  

The firm may return to the fundraising trail next year, Jeremy Lytle, ECI’s investor relations partner, told Private Equity International in July. “If we hit the milestones of a couple of more deals to get us to about 75 percent, then there’s a high possibility [we will return to the market next year].”