BigHand Management Buy-Out Opens New Opportunities

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BigHand, the leading digital dictation workflow software vendor and Sunday Times Tech Track 100 company, today announced a management buy-out that will enable significant internal investment. The deal is expected to be highly beneficial for BigHand’s 400+ law firm clients around the world, as new product development and increased support were key drivers for the MBO.

BigHand, the leading digital dictation workflow software vendor and Sunday Times Tech Track 100 company, today announced a management buy-out that will enable significant internal investment. The deal is expected to be highly beneficial for BigHand’s 400+ law firm clients around the world, as new product development and increased support were key drivers for the MBO.

The MBO team (see below) completed the purchase of BigHand Ltd on 24th July 2006 from the two founding Directors and are now majority shareholders of the company. The Management Buy-Out (MBO) Team is backed by LDC, the private equity division of the Lloyds TSB Group, which invested an undisclosed amount for a significant stake in BigHand.

The BigHand Management Board following the MBO is as follows:

Stephen Edwards - Chairman

David Fryer – Chief Executive Officer

Simon Lewis – Development Director

Steve Butterworth – Sales Director

Jonathan Carter – Client Solutions Director

Kevan Leggett, who led the deal on behalf of LDC, joins as a non-executive director and will work closely with management to implement BigHand’s growth strategy.

David Fryer, previously Chief Operating Officer and now Chief Executive Officer at BigHand, commented, “These are exciting times for BigHand and our client base. We are planning a substantial and immediate increase in investment in various teams such as Development & Support as part of the business plan, and a new UK HQ near London Bridge will be opened later this year. The various needs of our clients was the key factor motivating the MBO and as such a large UK user conference is being launched so our relationship with them can become even closer. It is very much felt that this deal is an opportunity to refocus on their needs - rather than just new sales. New product development will also increase, with our development team set to grow dramatically over the next 18 months.”

Existing management are joined by a new Chairman, Stephen Edwards, who has a history of success in the international technology industry. Stephen Edwards commented: “I am delighted to be joining BigHand which, as a Sunday Times Tech Track 100 company, is a market leader looking to build on 5 years of fantastic success. With a management team highly focused on client needs, and with my knowledge of the global technology sector, I feel we have an opportunity to now take that achievement to another level.”

Kevan Leggett, regional director for LDC in the South and BigHand non-executive director, said: “BigHand has successfully capitalised on the legal sector’s adoption of digital dictation and has forged a market leading position based on the quality of its product and services.

“There is huge potential for the business to continue growing by targeting other professional sectors and by establishing themselves in international markets.

“The management team has the energy and enthusiasm to drive continued rapid growth in the business and we’re looking forward to working closely with them to fulfil BigHand’s global potential over the coming years.”

The MBO team have already had full management control of BigHand for over nine months, however as part of the transition the two founding directors (Stephen Thompson and Gordon McAlpine) will be consulting on key projects over the coming months. Stephen Thompson, the outgoing Managing Director, commented: “Having started the business in the hallway of my London flat with £19,000 of capital, and after 10 successive years of growth, Gordon and I have decided to step away from BigHand to allow others to take the company to the next level. We are enormously proud of what we have achieved in those years, and extremely proud of BigHand's staff, MBO team, customer base, and digital dictation software. BigHand is a fantastic, thriving company full of amazing people who have achieved literally hundreds of customer accolades and many legal and business awards. As part of the transition, the MBO Team have essentially had full control of the business for the last 9 months and have done exceptionally well. They bring a renewed sense of drive and energy, and will relish the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead as they continue to drive BigHand's successful growth.”

http://www.bighand.com

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Dan Speed
BIGHAND
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