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Palatine invests in technology provider

Palatine Private Equity has backed Acora, a managed IT services provider, as it looks to expand its service capabilities through a buy-and-build strategy.

Acora has traded for more than 25 years, providing a range of IT support and cloud solutions to help mid-market organisations modernise infrastructure and operate in the digital economy. It offers a full service suite, from service desk through to cloud transformation and ongoing managed service of cloud applications and infrastructure.

David Rabson, CEO of Acora, acquired the business through a management buyout in 2008. Since then, the business has developed from a traditional service desk provider with a regional presence to a UK-wide organisation with a 300-strong multi-national client base and headcount in excess of 300. Acora operates three service centres in West Sussex and the West Midlands, with a sales office in Central London and a small number of staff across mainland Europe and the US.

The business has focused heavily on organic growth through its ‘Gold Partner’ relationship with Microsoft, which has allowed Acora to expand its range of services to include Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics support. The company has also scaled up through two major acquisitions in the last three years. In 2017, Acora acquired Just Computing, a managed services provider and in 2019 it merged with Plan-Net, another owner-managed IT support and services company.

The backing from Palatine Private Equity will allow the business to renew its focus on acquisitive growth, as it eyes opportunities that will offer both scale and new capabilities. As well as this, Palatine will support Acora’s value creation plan as it looks to invest in people to support its processes, and new technologies which will enable it to offer clients the best in class cloud transformation and support.

Tony Dickin, Partner at Palatine Private Equity, said: “We are delighted to have completed our investment in Acora. Throughout the process we have continued to be impressed by the quality of the senior management team, the strategy they have developed and the foresight they have shown in investing in high quality people and processes ahead of growth.

“The business has transitioned from its roots as a service desk provider to now offering best in class cloud transformation and ongoing support services to its clients. The team have created and excellent platform to deliver fast paced growth both via acquisition and additional investment in people and services.

“We look forward to supporting the team’s value creation strategy going forward, specifically in helping the team convert the pipeline of buy and build opportunities they have highlighted.”

Acora offers a range of enterprise class IT services designed to complement its customers’ capabilities, to increase their IT effectiveness today and to provide them with a competitive digital platform that is resilient and fit for purpose looking to the future.

We are extremely pleased to be joining forces with Palatine, from an early stage in our discussions it was clear to us that they would be the right team to help us drive our journey faster and help us build on our successes to date. Our collective ambition is well-aligned, which will benefit the Acora business, its people and as importantly its customers alike. The key focus now is to continue to develop and grow our capabilities to support our loyal staff and customer base. We anticipate making further corporate announcements throughout 2020.

David Rabson
CEO, Acora