Hobs Group attracts US buyer for Anexsys Group

Ben Barker

Anexsys Group has been acquired by US-based private-equity-backed Xact Data Discovery (XDD) from Liverpool’s Hobs Group, for an undisclosed sum.

Anexsys provides technology and consultancy services for law firms, corporations and the public sector.

It will continue to operate in its current Manchester and London and offices under the name of Anexsys as part of the XDD portfolio of brands.

As part of the deal, BGF has exited its investment in Anexsys, which it has backed since 2014 as part of Hobs Group.

In this period, Anexsys’s revenues rose from £2.1m, in 2015, to £7.3m in 2020 with an EBITDA of £2.1m as the business established itself as a leader in the UK digital forensics and e-disclosure market.

BGF continues to support Hobs Repro and its subsidiary Hobs 3D, which is led by managing director Craig Horwood.

Ben Barker, head of BGF’s portfolio for the North said: “Rob Crowley and the Anexsys team have a done a brilliant job in growing the business to become one of the main players in e-discovery services with key public sector contracts and a number of the UK’s top law firms as clients.

“We wish them every success with their new partners. We’re also pleased to continue backing Craig and the Hobs Repro and 3D teams in the next stage of their journey.”

As part of the changes, James Duckenfield has transitioned to a non-executive director role.

Peter Bertram, who was appointed to the board as non-executive chair after being introduced by BGF in 2014, continues in this role for Hobs Repro.

Mr Bertram said: “We are pleased to announce the sale of Anexsys to XDD which presents a strong opportunity for the company at this stage of its growth.

“The sale allows Anexsys and Hobs Group to focus on their respective missions and reflects the distinct operations between the companies and their target markets.

“Following a period of growth and significant M&A, the separate businesses will be in the best position to pursue their growth strategies, amid what continues to be challenging trading conditions for all businesses.”

Advisers for Anexsys: Corporate finance – Lincoln International (Chris Brooks, Anant Kapoor, Hamzah Shakoor); Legal – DWF (Paul Rimmer, Rosie Spencer, Liz Clark); Financial and commercial due diligence, and tax – RSM (Colin Smyth, Rob Aitken, Jake Hodgson).

Advisers for BGF: Legal – Brabners (Andrew O’Mahony, Daniel Hayhurst).