3i and Quester benefit from trade sale

CDC Solutions, a VC-backed regulatory publishing company, has been acquired by listed US company, Information Holdings, in a deal worth around $33m. An initial net cash consideration of $19.3m has been agreed, with a further cash consideration of between $4m and $14m payable dependent on post-acquisition performance. Information Holdings provides information products, software solutions and services to intellectual property, life sciences and IT learning markets.

Founded as Computerised Document Control in 1994 CDC provides software and services that facilitate the preparation and submission of regulatory filings in the life sciences industry. CDC Solutions first received venture capital backing in 1998 when 3i invested £1m. The following year Quester joined 3i in a £2m round to support the growing company and a further round was completed in 2000 with the Nippon Investment Fund. The company raised a total of £11m in venture capital.

CDC Solutions’ products are used by pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies to create new drug applications, reports, proposals and technical documentation. The UK-based company, which has representatives in Germany, the US and Japan, achieved profitability in 2002.

Quester director, Jeremy Milne, said the investment had produced a good return. “Since our original investment in a second round in 1999 and a third round in 2000, CDC solutions progressed into the market leader in software license sales for Regulatory Publishing Solutions. In a time where good exits are rare it is a testament to the venture backers, the management team and advisors that such a positive result could be achieved,” he said.

CDC Solutions has been bought by Liquent, a subsidiary of Information Holdings that provides regulatory publishing solutions for the life sciences industry. The company will be included in Information Holdings’ software segment and will be integrated with the Liquent business. It is expected that this year CDC will generate revenues of $12m to $13m.