Mercia exits Intechnica investment following £14.5m sale to US company

Jeremy Gidlow

Investment group Mercia has exited Intechnica Holdings, the Manchester-based provider of specialised IT and technology consulting services for private equity firms, following its £14.5m sale to US-based Crosslake Technologies.

Mercia held a majority stake in the business via its own direct funds and three of its managed funds, and founders Jeremy Gidlow and Andy Still.

It first invested in December 2013 and has proactively supported the business since then, building out the board and then initiating the spin-out of its cyber security arm Netacea as a standalone company in 2022.

Mercia will receive cash proceeds of £3.7m from its 25.5% direct holding in Intechnica, representing a 1.7x return on investment.

It also achieved a 2.6x 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 its stake in Netacea and Will Clark, Mercia’s managing director of Regional Venture, who was board director of Intechnica at exit, will remain on Netacea’s board.

Crosslake is a leader in data-driven technology advisory services for private equity firms and their portfolio companies.

Intechnica’s founder, Jeremy Gidlow, said: “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 cybersecurity, engineering and enterprise systems – complements our current offerings and allows us to more fully create impact for our clients. 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.”

Dr Mark Payton, CEO of Mercia Asset Management, said: “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.

“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.

“This is another direct investment exit above holding value, which continues to support our valuation methodologies.”

Ken Cooper, managing director of Venture Solutions at the British Business Bank, said: “The success of NPIF-backed businesses like Intechnica demonstrates the impact that regionally focused equity investment can have in facilitating growth and expansion of local companies. Funding can be used to create new jobs and opportunities, helping innovative and fast growth businesses across the North of England realise their potential.”

Duncan Wilson and Rebecca Mackellar from Addleshaw Goddard, together with Patrick Ford from Squire Paton Boggs, provided legal advice to Intechnica shareholders on the sale.

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