Private equity firm completes significant investment in IT business

Palatine Impact Team

Birmingham private equity firm Palatine Impact has completed a significant investment into a Nottingham-based IT business.

Formed in 2005, e-days is a rapidly growing provider of employee absentee management software.

The deal is the second deal from Palatine’s Impact Fund, a £100m investment vehicle targeting growth companies that also deliver a positive social and/or environmental impact. The Impact Fund reached its hard cap earlier this year and is targeting investments up to £10m.

The investment also marks the third successful deal completed in the Midlands, following the opening of Palatine’s Birmingham office in December 2015.

The employee absence management tool designed by e-days is designed to help organisations improve operational efficiency and reduce absenteeism. Provided through a software as a service (SaaS) model, the tool accurately manages, processes and tracks employee leave and sickness, providing absence analytics to help managers deliver efficiency gains across their organisation. The company has more than 175,000 users and has customers in over 80 countries.

The deal was led by partner and Head of the Impact Fund, Beth Houghton and investment director James Gregson, with support from investment manager Tom Hustler. Both Ms Houghton and Mr Gregson will join the e-days board as the business looks to develop its employee wellbeing offering.

Steve Arnold, CEO at e-days, said: “The Palatine Impact Fund is the perfect investment partner for our fast-growing business, given the focus on positive social impact.

“The Palatine investment will help us accelerate our market penetration, whilst continuing to enhance the product offering for the benefit of our customers and their employees.”

Beth Houghton said: “The e-days software helps companies to enhance employee wellbeing and improve absentee rates. By analysing staff sickness data, the software helps companies to become more responsible, as well as identifying underlying trends to pre-empt future absence.

“e-days is exactly the type of business we set out to support with our new Impact Fund, and we look forward to working alongside the management team in the coming months.”

Carl Houghton and Richard Ellis from Clearwater International advised on the transaction. Chris Heatlie and Rob Dawes at BDO provided financial due diligence, while Tom Fletcher and Mike Hallett of CIL provided commercial due diligence and Mike Stiles of The Quinn Partnership provided management due diligence.

Legal advice for Palatine came from Ragi Singh, Victoria Pearson and Stephen Bowman at Gowling in Birmingham, while Mark Hughes from Browne Jacobson advised management. Management and vendor tax advice was provided by Simon Browning at UHY Hacker Young.

Mark Hughes, corporate finance partner at Browne Jacobson, added: “The transaction paves the way for a significant investment in e-days which will help consolidate its market position and support its ongoing innovation and product development programme.”

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