Palatine exits Selection in £35m deal
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Palatine Private Equity has sold IT services business Selection for £34.8m to AIM listed Castle Street Investment (CSI).

Selection provides fully outsourced IT solutions to over 500 organisations across the public and private sector. Clients include David Lloyd Leisure, Day Lewis Pharmacy, KPMG, Nuffield Health and Bibby Financial Services.

Palatine backed a £15m management buyout of the business in December 2011.
The management team, led by Managing Director Grahame Harrington, Chairman Alan Howarth and Finance Director Mark Woodall, have transformed Selection from a traditional break/fix maintenance IT support business to a fully outsourced IT managed service provider with revenues of £40m.

They also made two strategic acquisitions during the four-year investment period with the purchase of hosting and disaster recovery services business Cloud Data in 2011, before acquiring Aggregated Telecom (8tel) in 2013. This added networking, connectivity, voice and hosted telephony to the portfolio of services. Most recently Selection achieved G-Cloud 7 supplier status which is set to increase business opportunities in the public sector.

Castle Street Investments plc (CSI) is an AIM listed cash shell and is planning to use Selection Services as a platform for further acquisitions.

Tony Dickin, Partner at Palatine Private Equity said: "Having delivered a successful buy and build strategy as well as achieving organic growth, I believe Selection is now in a strong position to capitalise further on the favourable market conditions within the SME market and continue the next phase of its development under Castle Street’s ownership.”

Chase Templeton kicks off 2016 with duo of deals
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Palatine Private Equity portfolio company, Chase Templeton has sealed its first deals of 2016 with the acquisition of Health Equity Solutions Ltd and Caledonian Health Solutions.

These latest purchases add a further £2.15m in annual premium income (API) and nearly 370 predominantly SME clients.

Health Equity Solutions was the Preston based corporate vehicle of well-respected health insurance adviser Paul Nugent with Caledonian Health Solutions, of Kelso, that of Graham Coates. Mr. Nugent has exited in order to pursue new challenges whilst Mr Coates is retiring.

These deals are the latest concluded under Chase Templeton’s highly successful “buy and build” strategy which has seen it complete well over 50 businesses and books since securing the backing of Palatine Private Equity in 2013. It comes after the company added some £40m in API in the last quarter of 2015 alone following the purchases of Healthcare Partners, Atlas Consulting Group and Consilium Employee Benefits.

Chase Templeton, which serves individual clients from its offices in Bridgwater, Somerset and last November opened a Greater London hub in Bromley and manages in excess of £150m API.

Jeff Tate, Mergers and Acquisitions Director, Chase Templeton commented: "These are both very solid books, offered to us by vendors exiting for different reasons but united in their desire not just to realise the value of their assets, but to place their clients in hands they can trust. These are strong, SME-oriented client bases which have been carefully nurtured and which we believe will benefit from the added value which Chase Templeton, with the additional resource we can commit, will deliver."

John Charcol expands capability with acquisition of Simply Finance Group
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Palatine Private Equity portfolio company John Charcol has completed the acquisition of multiple award-winning business Simply Finance Group based in Southampton. The deal adds significant strength and depth to John Charcol’s existing mortgage advisory business, as well as adding a new secured loan capability, Simply Loans, to meet the growing market of customers seeking a second charge on their property.

Launched in 2006 by Peter Williams and Ben Larkin, Simply Finance has grown rapidly into a leading mortgage broker and in 2015 helped over 1,300 customers with their mortgage needs. Simply Finance is also recognised as a strong brand within the industry, and its 30 plus advisers have a reputation for providing high quality professional advice.

Under the terms of the deal, John Charcol’s CEO, Simon Knight, and Managing Director, Walter Avrili, will join the Simply Finance board. Founding directors of Simply Finance, Peter Williams and Ben Larkin, will join the senior management team at John Charcol. The deal means that John Charcol now has over 115 mortgage advisers serving an ever-growing number of customers each year.

Simon Knight, CEO, John Charcol said: “The acquisition of Simply Finance is a key part of our growth strategy giving us immediate increased capacity, an extension to our customer proposition, and capabilities that complement our existing areas of strength. Both Peter and Ben are entrepreneurs who have successfully built a hugely impressive business supported by a great team of people, with lots of potential to continue to grow.”

Peter Williams added: "John Charcol is a natural partner for us as we enter our next phase of growth. It is a growth-orientated business with a clear strategy led by an exceptional management team. This is a great deal for our staff and customers enabling us to invest further in areas of the business where we can offer a winning mortgage proposition."

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