UK business software group Civica has just been sold by Canadian pension fund Omers for more than £1bn

Lucy White
Counting And Regional Declarations Take Place For The EU Referendum
Civica worked with the Electoral Commission to support real-time tracking of votes in the EU referendum (Source: Getty)

Business software group Civica has just been sold to Partners Group, a global investment manager with more than $66bn (£50.76bn) in assets under management, for £1.06bn.

Omers Private Equity, the private equity branch of the Ontario municipal workers' pension fund Omers which also owns Vue cinemas, made a 2.6-times return on its original investment through the sale.

Read more: Vue owners get fairytale ending with £935m sale

UK-based Civica, which worked with the Electoral Commission to support real-time tracking of votes in the EU referendum, provides business-critical software and services to 2,000 major customers in 10 countries.

“With our highly relevant combination of specialist software, digital solutions and technology-based services, together with investments made in resources and management, the business is in a strong position and we are excited by the future possibilities,” said Civica's chief executive Wayne Story.

Read more: Wayne Story, Civica CEO, asks: What can the public sector teach firms about innovation?

The business employs around 3,700 staff, and approximately 75 per cent of those jobs are located in the UK.

Since Omers acquired Civica in 2013, it has expanded significantly – not least through its acquisition of 12 companies including, most recently, human resources software specialist Carval.

The fifteen-year-old business now has offices around the world, in the UK and Ireland, Australia, Singapore, India and North America.

It serves several government departments, including the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office which it is helping with its response to international crises, and Highways England in its response to managing roads in severe weather.

The deal is Omers' third sale of a company in Europe, after selling ship management company V.Group and credit business Hayfin Capital, and its tenth exit globally.

Partners Group will aim to boost Civica's growth in its international hubs. “Local and regional governments everywhere are digitalising their processes in order to offer more cost-effective and user-friendly services to the public, and Civica has the necessary expertise in supporting digitalisation and efficiency gains in the public sector,” said Partners Group's Bilge Ogut.

Civica listed on London's junior market Aim in 2004 at a value of £79m, before it was taken private four years later by private equity group 3i.

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