Sage advice aids £21m acquisition | 25 April 08

LAW firm Ward Hadaway has helped software giant Sage strengthen its position in the specialist construction software, implementation and support service sector by advising on a £21m acquisition.

The firm provided legal advice on Sage (UK) Limited’s purchase of Hallco 1390 Ltd, which trades under the Tekton banner.

Tekton supplies more than 230 companies throughout the UK and Ireland and operates from offices in England and Scotland.

The £21m acquisition is the latest in a string of transactions on which Ward Hadaway has advised Sage (UK) Limited.

Last year, the firm provided legal advice on the £20m acquisition of HR, payroll and time and attendance specialist KCS Global Holdings Limited and the £17m acquisition of HR and payroll software and related services specialist Snowdrop Systems Ltd.

Ward Hadaway also advised on the November 2006 acquisition of UK online merchant payment services provider Protx Group for £20m.

Richard Butts, senior associate in the public companies and markets team at Ward Hadaway, led the firm’s team on the transaction.

Mr Butts said: “As well as involving the public companies and markets team, this transaction also required Ward Hadaway’s specialist expertise in intellectual property, employment, banking and property in order to ensure the acquisition went through smoothly for all concerned.”

David Crone, the head of the firm’s public companies and markets team, said: “It is very pleasing to be able to continue assisting Sage (UK) Limited with its business plans."

In the 12 months to the end of November last year, Ward Hadaway’s public companies and markets team advised upon over £260m worth of transactions.

Highlights included a £115m placing on AIM and related acquisition of US platform maker Snorkel for the Tanfield Group; a £12m placing on AIM and €23m related acquisition of Biocode Hycel S.A. for Immunodiagnostic Systems; two separate placings on AIM for China Goldmines totalling £31m; a £25m placing on AIM for Premium Bars and Restaurants (formerly Ultimate Leisure Group) and a £7m placing on AIM for Romag.

Ward Hadaway currently acts for around half of the region’s public companies.