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Intechnica embraces fresh owner and Version 1 makes double swoop

Consolidation in the channel continues at pace with three deals being announced within the past 24 hours

Manchester-based IT consultancy firm Intechnica Holdings has been snapped up by US player Crosslake Technologies in a deal worth £14.5m.

The acquisition of Intechnica, which delivers IT services to private equity firms, provides an exit for its former backer Mercia Asset Management, which had been involved with the business for the past decade and held a majority stake.

During that period, founders Jeremy Gidlow and Andy Still worked with Mercia to grow the business, spinning out the cyber security arm Netacea as a standalone company last year.

Mercia will receive cash proceeds of £3.7m from its 25.5% direct holding in Intechnica, representing a 1.7 times return on investment. It also achieved a 2.6 times return for its three managed funds, which between them held 27.9% of Intechnica. They were NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF), the Northern VCTs and the North West Fund for Venture Capital.

Mercia has retained a stake in Netacea, with Will Clark, Mercia’s managing director of regional venture, remaining on Netacea’s board.

The attraction for fellow IT advisory player Crosslake is to use the acquisition as a springboard into Europe. Intechnica’s Gidlow said it was looking to make a difference under fresh ownership.

“Together, the combined teams of Crosslake and Intechnica will become a leader in Europe, building on each other’s strengths and accelerating value creation for our clients. Crosslake’s experience, data and expertise – especially in the areas of cyber security, engineering and enterprise systems – complements our current offerings and allows us to more fully create impact for our clients,” he said.

“At the same time, we’re also able to leverage Crosslake’s global reach to expand the impact of our bespoke digital lab and data science services,” Gidlow added.

Mark Payton, CEO of Mercia Asset Management, said it was exiting a business in a strong position. “Intechnica is a great Manchester-based business that, as with all our direct investments, has been supported by Mercia’s regionally managed funds throughout the investment journey,” he said. “This full-cash exit delivers an excellent result for Mercia and allows Intechnica’s founders to focus on the continued growth of Netacea, an increasingly respected global brand in the cyber threat detection market.”

Version 1 bags Automation Logic and Qubix

Elsewhere, Version 1 has also been actively acquiring, making a double swoop for London-based cloud specialist Automation Logic and Oracle expert Qubix, taking its headcount up to the 3,000 mark.

Speaking about Automation Logic, Enda Diggins, managing director of Version 1’s UK digital, data and cloud practice, said the tie-up would benefit its customers.

“This acquisition [of Automation Logic] deepens our digital, data and cloud expertise, providing more opportunities for our people to develop professionally”
Enda Diggins, Version 1

“Version 1 and Automation Logic are combining to create one of the strongest cloud transformation capabilities in the UK. As award-winning partners to market-leading cloud providers, our customers will benefit from our increased depth and breadth of expertise in Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, DevOps and platform engineering. This acquisition deepens our digital, data and cloud expertise, providing more opportunities for our people to develop professionally,” she said.

Automation Logic co-founders Norm Russell and Kris Saxton said the deal would benefit its customer base. “This alignment of our cultures and our combined expertise will catalyse our shared mission, greatly benefiting our clients as we jointly expand our digital, cloud and DevOps solutions. This acquisition also presents a great opportunity for Automation Logic’s employees, dramatically increasing the number and variety of interesting challenges that our people love to solve,” they said.

Discussing the Qubix addition, Colm Gillard, managing director of Version 1’s Oracle practice, said it was gaining a highly accredited partner.

“With deep expertise evidenced at every stage of their customer journeys, Qubix will place Version 1 in an increasingly favourable position with both new and long-standing customers alike, enabling Version 1 to drive further business agility and transformation within our customers’ businesses,” he said.

Qubix CEO Julian Owens said it had looked for a “good home” for the business and identified Version 1 as the ideal candidate.

“Qubix brings to Version 1 a strong track record in driving business agility and transformation, and will strengthen the company’s existing Oracle ERP capability. This will also provide springboards for Version 1 for international expansion in the Americas and Asia-Pacific. I believe this arrangement will be favourable for everyone, most notably the employees and customers of both Qubix and Version 1,” he said.

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