Anite, the technology firm that provides major operators with their IT systems, has announced the sale of its travel business.
A deal for the entire share value of Anite Travel valued at £45 million has been struck with Lloyd’s Development Capital (LDC), a mid-market private equity house.
The sale is subject to customary completion adjustments and £1.7m will be held in escrow until final completion of the deal, Anite said.
The sale of its travel division reflects Anite’s stated intention to reinforce its position as a global leader in wireless test solutions. This area has contributed in excess of 75% of the Group’s total revenue and operating profit, the firm said in a statement.
Christopher Humphrey, Anite chief executive, said: “The sale of travel is the culmination of the work done to improve its performance ready for disposal, thereby maximising proceeds.
“We believe it is good news for both Anite’s shareholders and travel’s customers and employees; it will enable us to focus on and accelerate the growth of the wireless businesses whilst, under LDC’s ownership, travel can take the next step in its growth story.
“We are grateful to the management and staff of travel for their hard work in transforming the business. They have done a great job. The transaction is testament to the quality of travel’s people and solutions and we wish them every success in the future.
“The sale of travel is consistent with our long stated strategy to reinforce Anite’s position as a global leader in wireless test solutions. As a focused business with a strengthened balance sheet, we will be better able to take advantage of growth opportunities in the wireless market.
“We look forward to developing the business as a ‘pure-play’ Wireless company.”
Anite said the decision to seek a disposal was based on the prospects for the leisure travel industry and after receiving a number of approaches the board decided to proceed.
It said: “The board believes that LDC, the successful bidder, is committed to continuing the investment in and development of Travel to the benefit of its customers, employees and shareholders.
“The Board believes that the disposal price is a fair reflection of the value of travel – taking into account its prospects and market position. The timing of the disposal is right in terms of the next stage of travel’s long-term development.
“In summary, the Board believes that the Disposal will enable Anite to focus on the wireless market and the growth opportunities that it offers, whilst continuing to concentrate on maximising long-term shareholder value.”
LDC will acquire the entire share capital of Travel from Anite on a cash free / debt free basis for a cash consideration of £45.0 million subject to certain adjustments for working capital.
A £1.7 million consideration will be held in an escrow account subject to the satisfactory resolution of certain commercial considerations.
Key members of Anit’s travel division management team, including Mike Kingswood and Malkit Chana, will continue to lead the travel business and have invested alongside LDC in an MBO-type structure.
Travel will remain in its current premises. Anite and LDC have entered into a reciprocal service agreement to provide each other with data centre and hosting services.