Software firm sold in management buy-out

SOUTH Tyneside based DEF Software has been acquired in a £5m management buy-out, paving the way for further growth and recruitment.

DEF Software authors, implements and supports software systems on behalf of local government throughout England and Wales. The business was formed in 2009 with revenue and profit grown steadily year-on-year with no outside investment and zero debt.

Husband and wife David and Emma Frame sold 90% of the business seeing the long serving management team taking control of the company for a total consideration of £5.3m.

David remains as non-executive chairman of DEF, whilst also concentrating on the development of his growing business portfolio of technology and engineering companies.

DEF Software non executive chairman David Frame said: “We were in the position to sell DEF on a few occasions across the last two years, however I didn’t want to risk potential job losses here in the North East by selling to a competitor, of which all are based outside the region.

“I approached my management team with the concept last year, as selling through a management buy-out meant jobs at DEF would be protected and we could move into a new era with our dedicated board at the helm.

“The MBO has secured 10 highly skilled positions within the business and ensures this talent isn’t lost from the North East.

“We’ve always followed an aggressive research and development path, which is supported through heavy reinvestment. This has always been the foundation for our growth and nothing will change on that front. We now have around 50 local authority clients across the UK, providing planning, building control, highways and land charges software. We plan to release three major new products over the next 18 months that will help our clients generate further efficiencies. Once these are successfully rolled out we will enter the next development stage, create more jobs and so this process of reinvestment and development continues.”

Sintons Law partner Adrian Dye acted for David and Emma Frame with Tait Walker tax partner Alistair Wilson and tax manager Claire Smailes providing financial advice on the transaction.

Sintons partner Adrian Dye said: “Sintons has worked with David for many years having originally advised on David’s acquisition of the business.  We are delighted to have assisted in successfully completing the current MBO and are confident the business will thrive under the new management.”

Tait Walker tax manager Claire Smailes said: “We are thrilled to have been able to work with such a great business and team. The new management team ensures the skills of the individuals remain in our region, which is a great outcome. I wish them all the best of luck taking the business forward and further growing a well-established company.”

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