The board of digital transformation firm Kin and Carta plc has agreed a £203 million private equity takeover approach.
Kelvin UK Bidco Limited, a newly formed company owned indirectly by funds advised by Apax Partners, offered 110 pence in cash per share, representing a premium of approximately 41% to the closing price of 78p at the close on Tuesday 17th October.
It also represents a 51% premium to the average price of 73p for the last six months.
Originally founded in 1964, the former printing company shifted focus with the decline of that industry and rise of technology – via a series of acquisitions – and rebranded as Kin + Carta in 2018.
Its share price reached a high of more than 600p in 1999 as a printing company. As a technology specialist, it peaked at 339p in November 2021.
Apax said it views Kin + Carta as a “high quality business with a strong platform in the digital transformation, particularly in view of its impressive roster of blue-chip enterprise customers”.
It added: “The changing economic backdrop has highlighted the importance of scale and diversification in the DX sector. Apax believes that as a private company Kin and Carta will be better placed to make the investments necessary to position the business for long-term success.”
Serving the healthcare, financial services, industrial and agriculture, retail and distribution, transportation and public sectors, Kin + Carta became the first publicly traded business on the London Stock Exchange to earn B Corp accreditation.
With headquarters in London and US headquarters in Chicago, it employs more than 1,800 consultants, engineers and data scientists globally.
Kin and Carta plc shareholders will vote on the deal. If approved, the Acquisition is expected to complete during the first calendar quarter of 2024.
John Kerr, chair of Kin and Carta plc, said: “Following the successful strategic repositioning of the company to a pure-play global digital transformation consultancy, Kin + Carta is poised to execute the next phase of development for the business.
“We believe the offer to acquire Kin and Carta by Apax Funds represents an excellent opportunity for the company to accelerate ambitious growth plans and scale the business, building on the acquisition and integration of leading data and technology companies, the development of valuable technology partnerships, and the creation of a strong portfolio of enterprise clients.
“Apax’s experience supporting and growing digital consultancy businesses with valuable connections, resources and access to incremental growth capital will enable Kin and Carta to expedite progress on the company’s existing strategy, by bolstering M&A capacity, providing access to new markets, and supporting the management team to deliver profitable long-term growth.”