Dragon’s cloud computing firm lists with Soros among investors

A CLOUD computing company founded by a star of TV show Dragon’s Den will become the latest technology firm to tap London’s markets for funding this morning.

Outsourcery, which counts the newest Dragon Piers Linney as its co-chief executive, will float on Aim, London’s junior market, this morning with a valuation of £35m.

The company, which allows IT departments at clients including Vodafone, Hewlett-Packard and Pearson to outsource much of their heavy lifting, is raising £13m in the placing, with investors including George Soros and BlackRock.

“The vast majority of the infrastructure that companies have in their own offices will transition from that model to a cloud computing model [in future],” Linney told City A.M.. “[The listing] gives us capital and then access to further capital but importantly transparency. Being a Plc gives you more profile. We have invested a lot of money and we have got a highly credible proposition, what’s really important is that we are respected.”

Linney, who replaced Theo Paphitis on Dragon’s Den in March, said that Outsourcery is the market leader in the across-the-board service it offers. The company saw revenue of £3.6m in 2012, up from £2.5m a year ago, although it burned through £7.2m of cash.

“We have built a capability to play at the top level and we have had to do that ahead of revenue,” Linney said.



INVESTEC Investment Bank was the sole adviser and bookrunner on Outsourcery’s £13m share placing, with the bank’s head of technology, media and telecoms Andrew Pinder leading the four-strong team on the initial public offering. Pinder has been at Investec for 11 years, and has recently worked on deals including BT’s acquisition of legal services firm Tikit, as well as acting as a long-term adviser to software firm Idox. Pinder joined Investec in April 2002 having previously worked at Soundview Technology Group and Dresdner Kleinwort Benson. Pinder qualified as a charted accountant at PwC in 1999 and has a law degree from the University of Exeter.

Joining Pinder on the deal were Dominic Emery, an associate director in Investec’s tech, media and telecoms division, and corporate brokers Carlton Nelson and Patrick Robb. Emery joined Investec in 2008 after a period at Close Brothers Corporate Finance. The History and French graduate gained his accounting credentials at Robson Rhodes.

Patrick Robb, a 12-year Investec veteran, joined the company from Merill Lynch and was the lead broker on the deal, having previously worked on Care UK’s sale to Bridgepoint in 2010 as well as Halford’s £73.2m acquisition of Nationwide Autocentres from private equity group Phoenix in the same year.

Carlton Nelson has worked for Investec since March 2008, having joined the company from Moore Stephens.

Legal practice Squire Sanders worked as lawyers for Outsourcery, having advised the company since its inception in 2007.

Squire Sanders corporate partner Giles Chesher led things from the legal side.