Safe Computing Ltd
“Looking back it should have been a straightforward deal but there were so many twists and turns, there were times when I didn’t think we would get there.But John’s commitment and the quality of advice he provided was a constant throughout the process. His input was always level-headed, he was always available and he kept us moving forward. In many ways he became an integral part of the management team.”
Sandy Scott, managing director
Safe Computing, a £6m turnover payroll and HR software business in Leicester, received support from John Sykes through turbulent deal negotiations over a two-year period, which resulted in the completion of multi-million pound deal.
The company had experienced mixed fortunes historically, but had turned a corner following the appointment of managing director Sandy Scott in 2002. Scott’s guidance led to a business upturn, showing a trend of growth and increasing profitability.
The shareholders in the business decided to sell and a management buy-out led by Scott was the obvious solution. However, the transaction was complex to negotiate – requiring trade buyers to be tackled, complex discussions with Private Equity backers and the management of an extremely challenging pensions issue. John Sykes was appointed as the lead adviser to the client’s management team, providing support with fund raising, negotiating and structuring the deal with the vendor and funders and project management.
Eventually a deal was agreed, with the main vendor retaining a stake in the business and HSBC providing a sophisticated structured finance package to support the transaction.