Private equity-backed workforce management firm sold

Mitrefinch, a York and Nottingham-based workforce management firm, has been sold to Advanced – the third largest British-owned software and services firm in the UK.

The deal marks an exit for private equity investor LDC, which first backed Mitrefinch in 2016.

The exit follows a four-year partnership that saw Mitrefinch invest heavily in technology as it transformed into a software-as-a-service (SaaS) business, doubling revenues to £24m and increasing employee numbers by 64%.

Established in 1979, Mitrefinch provides products across integrated time and attendance, payroll, HR and access control. The company has 4,400 customers in over 80 countries.

LDC invested over £20m in Mitrefinch in 2016 and has since supported its management team to build out the company’s software capabilities from a largely on-premise product to a suite of market leading cloud-based solutions generating recurring SaaS revenues.

LDC’s Value Creation Partners team also supported with Mitrefinch’s approach to product and service pricing.

During the last four years, Mitrefinch extended its international presence through both organic and acquisitive growth, including the strategic purchase of US-based Advance Systems America.

The business has increased international sales to account for 44% of turnover in the current financial year with established operations in Ireland, the US, Canada and Australia.

Matt Jenkins, CEO of Mitrefinch, said: “The team at LDC has played a key role in championing our expansion over the last four years.

“LDC backed the leadership team here at Mitrefinch to deliver on our growth plans, and it’s been great to have them in our corner.”

“We have a strong reputation for developing innovative products that help companies solve the complexities of managing time, and we’re looking forward to taking our business to the next level as part of Advanced.”

Richard Ibbett, investment director at LDC in Manchester, said: “The growth potential when we first invested in Mitrefinch back in 2016 was clear and it’s great to see what Matt and his team has achieved.

“In the last four years they have transformed the business into a truly market-leading international player.

“Their success is testament to what can be achieved with the right level of support and investment from a private equity partner.”

Gordon Wilson, CEO of Advanced, said: “The innovative workforce management solutions developed by Mitrefinch are an exceptional fit with our existing best of breed Cloud HR solution.

“We’ve seen the impact of Covid-19 change the future of workforce management and shifting workforce expectations, leaving companies facing uncertainties with regards to resourcing and staffing.

“Digital technology provides accuracy of data to enable rapid decision-making in shifting market conditions which is a vital tool for companies managing shift patterns and measuring critical output.”

Shareholders were advised by Adrian Reed and Phil Chadwick at GCA Altium Manchester, and DLA Piper’s James Kerrigan and Chris Wilson, also based in Manchester.

Clearwater International acted as buy-side advisers to Advanced.