Candover is enjoying a successful exit from UK-based IT services company, Detica, following its flotation on the London Stock Exchange earlier this week. The company announced a 400 pence issue price ahead of its listing, raising GBP13.3 million.
Candover invested GBP6.5 million in June 1997 in the GBP12 million buyout of Detica, then known as The Smith Group. The firm has now sold 20 per cent of its 40 per cent holding in the company, making a return of just under 6 times cost, said Simon Leaf of Candover. The remaining 20 per cent holding is locked up for a minimum of a year. With the funds, Detica is looking at possible acquisitions and funding future growth.
Detica was incorporated in 1977 and traded as The Smith Group until 2001. Detica’s background is in the research, development and implementation of systems for information acquisition, processing and management for UK government departments involved in National Security, with a particular emphasis on highly secure IT and communications systems.
Detica, which is the first technology company to float on the LSE for over a year made a disappointing debut on its first day as its shares fell 8.5 pence to 391.5 pence. This may cause concern among investors and may force bankers to lower the price of forthcoming issues.