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Capita snaps up Trustmarque

Capita acquires Trustmarque to bolster its software licensing capabilities across private and public sector customers

Capita has forked out £57m to acquire Trustmarque from its parent company Ardbid Ltd with a view to adding the firms licensing and software knowledge to its portfolio.

The deal ends a couple of years of uncertainty for Trustmarque, which has relied on different backers at various points to keep the business going, and brings it under the umbrella of a firm with a well established public and private sector business.

Trustmarque had been picked up by Liberata, ultimately owned by Ardbid, back in September 2014 after it moved away from the investor Dunedin and remained one of Microsoft's major UK partners.

For its money Capita is getting a business with more than 620 staff, five office in the UK and a customer base of 1,450 private and public sector clients. Trustmarque reported revenue of £191.9m, net revenue of £107.0m, underlying EBITDA of £7.3m and underlying operating profit of £4.3m in its last financial year to 31 December 2015.

The expectation is that post-merger once the reseller is part of the Capita family able to enjoy the benefits of cross selling  and cost savings it will hit the target of a 15% post-tax return on investment in 2018.

"This acquisition provides Capita with a set of capabilities and expertise that complement our existing businesses – and the mix of core reseller activity and higher value services is a strong proposition that will sit well with our wider technology offering. Trustmarque’s ‘Enterprise-as-a-Service’ model will provide a number of opportunities to build new services and deepen our existing relationships with key partners, in particular with Microsoft," said Andy Parker, Capita chief executive.

What Capita is getting

Trustmarque is one of Microsoft's major UK partners and holds 14 gold partner competencies. It is also the vendor's largest public sector licensing specialist delivering £100m of licenses each year. It has also developed cloud expertise and is pushing Office 365 and Azure and has Microsoft Cloud Provider status.

"It will particularly enhance our growing Capita Technology Solutions business, expanding its ability to offer innovative services to current and potential clients. Specific specialities, such as software asset management and strategic cloud consultancy, have strong synergies with Capita’s existing propositions," he added.

Scott Haddow, chief executive of Trustmarque, said that the deal would give it a platform for growth: "There are a number of opportunities for integration – including our success selling services through G-Cloud – that will help us to lower costs and cross sell services to customers".

He also made reference to the collaboration between the two firms over the years and the fact Capita understood its business and appreciated what it could bring to the market.

"Capita’s long history with Trustmarque means that the two businesses understand each other well, and we look forward to working closely with new colleagues to deliver the best possible services and solutions," he said.

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