Inflexion hopes to make buses run on time

The AIM-listed private equity firm has acquired a 70 percent stake in UK public transport technology company ACIS in a £25m MBO.

UK lower midmarket firm Inflexion Private Equity has led the £25 million (€37 million; $47 million) MBO of Advanced Communications and Information Systems(ACIS).
 
The firm has made an investment of £10 million through a combination of loan notes and equity in exchange for a stake of approximately 70 percent. Senior debt and mezzanine financing was provided by Barclays Bank.
 
ACIS has a market share of around 50 percent in the provision of IT systems for public transport networks, such as real-time passenger formation systems and traffic signal priority systems. Its customers include local government, vehicle manufactures and public transport operators in the UK, the Netherlands and Scandinavia.

Inflexion – dragging London transport into the 21st century

The company’s existing management will remain in place and have invested heavily in ACIS shares in this transaction according to Inflexion. Two Inflexion executives, managing partner Simon Turner and executive Christian Hamilton, will join the company’s board.
 
In an interview with PEO, Turner said: “The company has grown at a dramatic compound rate of 30 to 40 percent. There’s a desire to make public transport more effective and improve customer experience, so the market has received a lot of investment thanks to political support.”
 
He added that he expected to see the roll out of existing technologies continue in more areas, and to see a single, on-bus, one point IT solution develop that included information screens, CCTV and automated ticketing.
 
Inflexion is an AIM-listed lower midmarket firm that provides buyout and development capital for companies with an enterprise value of between £5 million and £30 million.
 
This is the firm’s fourth deal since December. Other recent deals have included the £14 million MBO of Ilchester cheese, the £11.2 million IPO of software company ANT, and the £15 million MBO of All Clear Finance.
 
Inflexion’s largest deal to date was the £32 million sale of the Ster Century cinema chain in July 2004, which, according to the firm generated an IRR of more than 250 percent.