Sage advice helps Ward Hadaway close £17m deal | 18 June 07

Law firm Ward Hadaway has closed its sixth deal for Sage (UK) Limited, advising the software giant on a £17m acquisition.

The purchase of HR and payroll software specialist Snowdrop Systems Ltd is also the second major deal which Newcastle-based Ward Hadaway has completed in the past six months for the UK subsidiary of the Tyneside FTSE 100 technology group, The Sage Group plc.

Last November, the firm advised Sage (UK) on its £20m acquisition of online payment services provider Protx Group.

The Snowdrop Systems deal, which also included dealing with international corporate disposals, saw Ward Hadaway coordinate a multi-disciplinary team to ensure that the acquisition went through smoothly.

Experts in corporate finance, IP and IT, employment, property and pensions worked together on the deal, which was completed earlier this month. Snowdrop Systems provides leading Human Resources, personnel and payroll management software, and related services, to more than 700 mid-sized businesses in the UK, focusing on the 50 to 2000-employee range.
The company, which was established in 1991, sells software to manage HR activities including recruitment, personnel, pay and flexible benefits, e-HR, training and development, and succession planning.

Richard Butts, associate at Ward Hadaway, who led the firm’s team on the Snowdrop Systems acquisition, said: “We were delighted to complete another successful acquisition on behalf of Sage (UK).

“It had to be done on a relatively tight timetable so credit has to go to all the members of the deal team for working so hard to conclude the acquisition on time.”

David Crone, the partner with overall responsibility for the transaction, added: “Ward Hadaway’s software and IT expertise was a key component of the deal’s success.”

Ward Hadaway previously acted for Sage (UK) Ltd on the 2004 acquisitions of retail software company APS and business intelligence software provider IntelligentApps.

The firm also advised on the acquisitions of the software companies ATW Computer Services and Promis Software in 2003.