Breaking News – Proactis Leaps Into Procurement Software Premier League With Perfect Commerce Acquisition

by Peter Smith,
– July 7, 2017 5:02 AM

Yorkshire-based spend management software firm Proactis has announced it is acquiring Perfect Commerce, a US headquartered procurement software business in what is a huge deal for the firm. To demonstrate the scale; Proactis is likely to turn over some £25 million in its current financial year; Perfect Commerce had revenues of almost $40 million shown in its last accounts.

So this deal, which constitutes a reverse takeover under the AIM London stock market rules and is subject to shareholder approval, represents a more than doubling in size for Proactis.

To fund the total consideration of approximately $127.5 million, payable in cash and by the issue of the Convertible Acquisition Loan Notes, Proactis is issuing £70 million of new shares and taking on some new debt facilities. The CEO of Perfect, Hampton Wall (must be American…) is taking over as CEO of the “new” business; with Tim Sykes of Proactis as CFO. Rod Jones, who has done a great job as Proactis CEO since 2002, announced months ago that he would stand down at the end of this year, so that all seems to fit well and avoids any top management squabbles!

We will have more analysis of the deal next week, but this builds on a very successful acquisition programme that Proactis has run over the last three or four years, buying up Due North, Millstream and other firms in the UK and US, creating real shareholder value in the process.

However, those were small firms generally; this is a whole different ball-game, so don’t under-estimate the various integration challenges here. But this potentially creates a serious player in the end-to-end procurement software space. With SAPAriba rejuvenated, Coupa’s flotation last year, BravoSolution, Tradeshift and Basware all making acquisitions and positioning themselves in the source to pay suite space, Ivalua and Jaggaer getting major investment … it is getting exciting and very interesting in this market.

Being very parochial, it is also good to see a UK software firm buying a US / French firm for a change (the French element relating to Perfect Commerce acquiring Paris-based Hubwoo back in 2015). More next week anyway; and congratulations to the Proactis team.