Access UK secures expansion capital in £50 million deal with Lyceum

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Market-leading provider of business management and accounting software, Access UK (‘Access’), is set to execute a rapid expansion strategy after securing a £50 million deal with growth investor Lyceum Capital.

Market-leading provider of business management and accounting software, Access UK (‘Access’), is set to execute a rapid expansion strategy after securing a £50 million deal with growth investor Lyceum Capital.

Access is a software, solutions and consultancy house that provides a full range of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and services, with a particular focus on financial management systems (FMS) and human capital management (HCM) solutions.

It serves a 5,000-strong mid-market client base spread across a broad range of sectors and includes Topps Tiles, National Museum of Science and Industry, Sue Ryder Care, Sacla’ and Birmingham International Airport,

Established in 1991, Access has grown to become a £28 million turnover business with an EBITDA of £5.5 million. The firm has nine offices across the UK and Ireland and employs over 300 people.

The £50 million transaction will see Lyceum Capital invest alongside Access’ existing management, led by CEO Chris Bayne, which has been responsible for driving a 15 per cent growth in sales over the last 12 months. Lyceum’s investment will help the team execute its ambitious growth plans.

Management will be further boosted with the arrival of chairman Gareth Denley who has held senior executive positions at IBM UK, Spring Group plc and Rebus HR (CEO) and non-executive director David England who was formally chief operating officer at Computer Software Group Plc and held senior positions in Solution 6 Group and Tyco International.

The deal sees the firm acquire the stakes previously held by founder Alistair O’Reilly and a number of other shareholders. Lyceum Capital’s Jeremy Hand and Phillip Buscombe have joined the board of Access.

With Lyceum Capital’s funding and strategic support, management will implement an expansion strategy focused on rapid organic growth and the acquisition of complementary solutions.

The strategy will also focus on continuing product development, including the ongoing development of Access’ software as a service (SaaS) capabilities.

Jeremy Hand, who led the deal for Lyceum Capital, said: “Access is a highly attractive company with a successful operating model, proven management team and a strong position in the rapidly growing business segment of the software market.

“This deal will give the business the funding and additional insight and expertise to broaden its services and penetrate further into key vertical industries.”

Chris Bayne, CEO of Access, said: “It’s fitting that on the 20th anniversary of Access’ incorporation we’ve agreed a deal which marks a significant step change in the speed and scale of the business’ expansion and secured the backing of an investment partner with an outstanding track record of generating sustainable growth.

“We’ll be focused on the continued development of our market-leading product and service portfolio through a combination of in-house development and the targeted acquisition of complementary solutions and will be looking to further develop our offering across the mid-market space.

“Our thanks go to exiting group managing director Alistair O’Reilly and non-executive chairman Paul Druckman, who have played a key role in helping the business get to where we are today.”

Access was recognised as one of the top UK employers in The Sunday Times 100 ‘best companies to work for’ list and during 2010 won various industry awards including Accountancy Age’s ‘software package of the year’, the Green IT Awards for ‘environmental accounting software’ and two SIFT Media Software Satisfaction Awards.

Notes to Editors:

Funders and advisors on the deal included:

Debt funding:

  •     MLA - Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets Acquisition Finance – Jeremy Perl, Steve Carr, Chris Birt, Ian Sale
  •     HSBC – Stuart Mills, Chris Brass, Andrew Cooke, Chris Fletcher

Advisors to buyers:

  •     Legal – Wragge & Co – David Marshall, Emmanuelle Strauven, Kevin Lowe, Kirsty Barnes
  •     FDD – KPMG – Phil Abram, Richard Aston
  •     Tax – KPMG – Martyn Till
  •     CDD – KPMG – Chris Woodland
  •     Management DD – Highwire – Sandra Aldridge, Annie Gray
  •     IT DD – Intuitus – Calum Stewart, Richard Irwin
  •     Insurance DD – Aon – Peter Casciani
  •     Tax structuring – PwC – Nick Hatton
  •     Corporate Finance – Investec – Andrew Pinder, Dominc Emery; and Oakley Capital – Eric Lakin

Advisors to sellers:

  •     Lead advisor – Regent – Mandip Sidhu
  •     Legal – Maxwell Winward – Chris North, Simon Abrahams
  •     Tax – Ensors – Robert Leggett

About Lyceum Capital:

Lyceum Capital is an independent investment firm that invests in innovative and growing mid-sized UK-headquartered businesses; having acquired over 60 businesses in the UK and internationally over the last ten years. Lyceum plans to invest a further £300 million in the UK over the next two to three years.

Lyceum Capital makes highly targeted investments in mid-sized businesses with the potential to become larger participants in fragmented and growing sectors; and has a strong track record across a number of industries.

Lyceum Capital works alongside management teams to increase scale by driving growth through investing in infrastructure and improved operations as well as sourcing and funding complementary acquisitions in the UK and internationally. Through a combination of investment, operational and strategic input Lyceum Capital helps management build robust and successful businesses with good long-term growth prospects.

For more information on Lyceum, contact James Lloyd-Davies on 0161 235 0308 or Emily Hargreaves on 0161 235 0320

About Access

  •          Access is a consulting, software and solutions provider, serving the mid-market
  •          The consulting services are backed by more than 75 accredited consultants, providing business software expertise.

They operate nationally out of 9 offices in the UK and Ireland

  •          The software portfolio provides solutions to meet the needs of the whole organisation, helping to reduce complexity and increase efficiencies at every level. In addition to accounting and finance, Access also offers manufacturing software, professional services automation, and accounting for carbon emissions reporting. Other software solutions include distribution and warehousing, HR and payroll, document management, service and contract management and CRM and sales automation

Accreditations and memberships:

  •          Microsoft Gold Certified Partner
  •          Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
  •          Business Application Software Developers Association (BASDA)
  •          HM Revenue & Customs: Payroll Standards Scheme


  •          Inclusion in The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For list for mid-market companies (85th)
  •          Accountancy Age Award 2010 for ‘Software Package of the Year’
  •          SIFT Media Software Satisfaction Awards 2010 for ‘Enterprise Accounting & Finance’
  •          SIFT Media Software Satisfaction Awards 2010 for ‘SME Human Resources & Human Capital Management’
  •          FrontRange Partner Awards 2010 for ‘CRM Partner of the Year’
  •          Green IT Awards 2010 for 'Environmental Accounting Software of the Year'
  •          Construction Computing Awards 2010, 'Construction Accounting Software of the Year'

For more information on Access, contact Helen Carpenter on 01206 322575 or visit

Alternatively, keep up-to-date by following Access on:


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Tim Cole
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