Exchequer Software founders pick Shield to handle sale to IRIS

 17/Mar/2005 10:28:59

Two businessmen, who started their IT company in a garage after leaving college in the late 80s, this week sold their business to a national accountancy software group for an undisclosed sum.

Eduardo Loigorri and Robert Steele, both co-directors of Exchequer Software, built up their accounts software business from just the two of them to a payroll to date of 70 local employees. They export across the globe, and have distributors in Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore and Australia.

This week, the firm was sold to IRIS, one of the UK 's leading accountancy software providers. The acquisition of Exchequer means that IRIS will now generate revenues of £30m, servicing some 9,000 accountancy practices, 40 per cent of which will be within the UK market, as well as around 40,000 businesses with accounting, payroll and HR software.

Martin Leuw, IRIS Group Chief Executive said: "Acquiring Exchequer is an important milestone in our goal of becoming the 1st choice of business software for UK accountants and SMEs."

Robert Steele said the acquisition of the company now means more investment opportunities to develop key products the firm had been working on, a solid future and more opportunities for the firm's employees. Both Eduardo and Robert have also secured new roles in the acquired company.

Robert said: "Having led the company for nearly 20 years, where our local staff have been critical to business growth, we were determined that any new owner would be committed, not only to securing their employment, but also seeing the products we have created be developed and marketed to their full potential.

"Six months ago we employed David Young of Shield, an international mergers and acquisitions firm with offices in Poole and London, to advise us. Through Shield's experience and track record of projecting future potential growth, we were able to maximise the value within the business."

Eduardo Loigorri said: " In our case selling a business we had built up over 20 years is potentially a once in a life time event. Finding the right corporate advisers was essential to us completing this transaction successfully, and Shield proved to be an excellent ally to have on our side during this process. They were superb guiding us through a very demanding process, very innovative, attentive and refreshingly straightforward to deal with. I cannot commend them highly enough."

Dr Young added: "When business owners are thinking about selling or merging, it's essential they take independent specialist advice at the very earliest stage.

"By creating the right sale environment, and accurately demonstrating to a would-be purchaser the middle to long-term potential growth in the company it is often possible to greatly increase the value and terms of sale.

"Eduardo and Robert have committed nearly two decades to Exchequer, and our role was to safe-guard their interests, and those of their employees."

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