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LDC-backed Kirona acquires Xmbrace

LDC has provided follow-on funding to support portfolio business Kirona Group’s acquisition of Xmbrace, a provider of scheduling software to the UK social housing sector.

The deal represents Cheshire-based Kirona’s first acquisition since LDC invested in the business in November 2011, backing the management team’s focus on organic growth alongside a targeted acquisition strategy.
It is also the third bolt-on for a portfolio company funded by LDC’s North West team this year, following Direct Group’s acquisitions of Circuit UK and Simple Insurance, to sit alongside four new investments in the region in 2012 to date comprising Airline Services, TD Travel Group, Bifold Group and Metronet (UK).
Kirona, which is headquartered in Alderley Edge, develops field force automation software solutions for a wide range of industries across the public and private sectors. It employs 33 people and has 220+ customers across a range of UK and international markets, which operate the software daily.
Founded in 2001, Xmbrace supplies scheduling software to local authorities, registered social landlords and private maintenance contractors for responsive repair operations. The Watford-based company, which has been a Kirona partner since 2006, employs 35 people.
The transaction positions Kirona Group to provide a wholly owned and integrated solution encompassing a comprehensive booking system alongside field force automation software modules to clients across the private and public sectors.
David Murray, managing director at Kirona, says: “Having partnered with Xmbrace since 2006, we fully recognise the market leading nature of its software, as well as the business’ driven management team, unrivalled presence in the social housing sector and significant technical expertise.
“The deal will allow us to work with partners of both businesses to provide differentiated, dynamic scheduling systems, and integrated support services which deliver even greater return on investment for our expanding client base.”
Investment directors Jonathan Bell and Simon Braham led the deal team for LDC. Braham says: “Xmbrace’s leading market position and highly respected team, combined with its existing partnership with Kirona, make it the ideal acquisition. The deal will create a number of technical and sales synergies as a result of the two companies’ complementary propositions and target sectors.”

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