Exclusive: 3i Plots Outsourcer Sale
One of the biggest software suppliers to British police forces, local authorities and NHS trusts is being groomed for a sale valuing it at hundreds of millions of pounds, Sky News has learned.
Civica, which was bought by 3i Group, the private equity firm, in 2008, is likely to be sold or floated on the stock market during the first half of next year, according to insiders.
3i has appointed investment bankers at Rothschild to conduct a strategic review of options for realising its investment in the company.
Civica was taken private in 2008, with executives arguing that being publicly-quoted had constrained its capacity to grow because of the company's disappointing share price performance.
The outsourcing group, which has a significant presence in Australia and Singapore as well as in the UK, supplies software and other services to public sector organisations.
According to Civica's website, its customers include more than 90% of all local authorities, police and fire services, and more than 275 healthcare providers including 80% of Acute NHS Trusts.
Valued at approximately £200m when it was taken private, bankers say that Civica is likely to be valued significantly higher when it next changes hands.
A previous attempt by the management to acquire the company, backed by Alchemy Partners, the buyout firm, failed in August 2007 amid volatile debt markets.
3i declined to comment.