Knight lives up to Billing in Union Street merger
Knight Corporate Finance, the boutique adviser for the technology and telecoms industry, is delighted to have advised the shareholders of the channel’s leading billing software business, Union Street Technologies (“UST”) on its merger with Aurora.
UST shareholders, Tony and Sara Cook, approached Knight in early 2019 to consider their strategic options for their business. Knight conducted a dry run diligence process (Knight Vendor Assist), to ensure the business was ready for a transaction and highlighted the most appropriate options for the business, with the management team keen to remain with the business moving forward.
Knight conducted a twin track process, approaching a pre-qualified group of industry buyers for a trade sale and institutional investors for a Management Buyout; enabling the shareholders and management team to compare and contrast the benefits of both options. Aurora emerged as the most appropriate buyer through a combination of value to shareholders whilst also providing an exciting prospect for the management team.
Adam Zoldan, Director at Knight Corporate Finance commented “We had a great interest from private equity in UST and there was an opportunity for the management to take-over the reigns of the company. However the opportunity to join forces with Aurora, to create a de-facto market leader in the channel billing market was unique. It enabled a full exit for the founders, whilst presenting a great opportunity for management to drive the business forward”.
With Knight Vendor Assist enduring the business was fully prepared for a full-scale due diligence process, the execution of the deal ran swiftly and smoothly.
Tony Cook, CEO of Union Street said “I knew the process was likely to be challenging. Until we started the journey, we did not fully realise how complex and demanding the transaction could be and the value of having Knight as an advisor. We were so impressed just how much support and expertise Knight provided through out every step of the due diligence. As we also had our day jobs to do, it was a huge help to have Knight on our side”.
Cook continued “We are in no doubt Adam and the team overcame a number of obstacles, including keeping the conversations going through lockdown at the height of the pandemic and successfully defending our position on key commercial points in diligence to ensure that we were not susceptible to any late price negotiations. From the get-go, Knight ran a professional and efficient process, ensuring we were prepared and negotiated a deal that we are delighted with. Knight exceeded our expectations in every way”.
Zoldan concluded “Lockdown hasn’t stopped the channel, and we are delighted to have successfully delivered another deal in what is our eighth completion in the past six months. We look forward to seeing the business continue to develop moving forward”.
The deal team comprised Adam Zoldan, David Middleton and Tom Jones.