Clearwater advises on sale of software company to private equity and management

BIRMINGHAM-based Clearwater International has advised Business Collaborator, a provider of document and project management tools for the construction and asset maintenance industries, on its sale to private equity house YFM Equity Partners and management.

The management team was led by chairman Richard Beaton and CEO Sanjeev Shah.
Business Collaborator is at the forefront of providing building information modelling (BIM) software tools, designed to ease the transition of asset construction and maintenance projects to an interactive paperless environment. The Reading-based business has more than 16 years of experience and 160,000 users of its software worldwide..
The investment from Leeds-based YFM will see Business Collaborator exit UNIT4, a Netherlands-based global software company with operations in 26 countries worldwide, employing more than 4,000 people. 

Business Collaborator will retain a close relationship with UNIT4, which has agreed to resell Business Collaborator’s BIM solutions for an exclusive period of up to three years. 
The funding will enable Business Collaborator to continue to expand its offering of collaboration and BIM software tools and accelerate its Go To Market strategy.
As part of the deal, Richard Beaton will join the board as chairman. Richard has extensive experience in construction technology, having built up an ERP group in this space also with YFM backing. It was later sold to Sage and then bought it back in 2013 in a deal also advised by Clearwater International.
The Clearwater International team was led by head of TMT Carl Houghton and associate director Andy Dyer.

Houghton, a partner at the firm, said: “Whilst it has taken some time to mature, we are very bullish about the growth of quality BIM assets and we are delighted to help the team to carve out Business Collaborator from its corporate parent.”