Manchester-based delivery tech platform Sorted is set to be bought for just £66.73 in a reverse takeover deal.
The global software company, which was launched in 2010 by David Grimes, ran into financial difficulties after raising nearly $100m in investment.
Today AIM-listed Location Sciences announced in its admission document that it has agreed to buy Sorted for £66.73, as well as take on the global software firm’s debts of £4m plus interest and invest £3m of capital.
The deal will need to be ratified by an EGM of Location Sciences’ shareholders in February 16. Should the acquisition proceed, the name of the company will be changed to Sorted Group Holdings plc.
The potential new owners have also raised £2m in new equity and secured a £3m credit facility but the people who previously invested nearly $100m (£72m) into Sorted won’t get their money back.
The entire board has also left with the exception of Carmen Carey, who also remains as CEO. In addition Mahmoud Warriah has been appointed as chief financial officer and Petar Cvetkovic as non-executive director.
Simon Wilkinson, the former CEO of Mobica and Myriad Group AG, is the chairman of Location Sciences, and said if the deal is agreed it will secure the future of Sorted and its 60 staff.
He’s also an investor alongside Mahmud Kamani, founder of Boohoo Group, and Richard Hughes, founder of Zeus Capital.
Speaking to BusinessCloud, Wilkinson said: “Sorted has always had the potential to be a disruptor in the rapidly growing eCommerce space.
“With the changes that we have already made and the new investment we are bringing, Sorted has a solid financial and people platform to exploit that opportunity now.
“Carmen (Carey) brings significant business and tech specific experience to Sorted. She’s worked tirelessly to provide the foundations for the turnaround that was needed since becoming CEO and will now, with the board’s support, be able to ensure strong customer growth and investor returns.”
Wilkinson also provided an upbeat business assessment for Sorted, which reported a loss before tax of £28.6m in the year to September 2022, compared to losses of £14.1m in the previous year.
“We expect the business to return to growth this year with vastly reduced losses which are manageable within our current fundraise envelope,” he said.
The Sorted Group saw a 30 per cent increase in shipment volume during the recent Christmas period. Customers include M&S, Asda and Boohoo.
Sorted employs 60 staff, around half of its peak in 2021 after it acquired fellow delivery platform Clicksit.
Today’s announcement is a far cry from the heady days of 2021 when Sorted closed a $40m (£30m) Series C investment raise led by Chrysalis Investments and Arete Capital Partners.
The investment came less than nine months after Sorted raised another $15m (£11m) to fund future growth.
In January 2021, Sorted saw a 243 per cent year-on-year growth as it was named by the FT as one of fastest-growing companies in Europe.
However the company never returned a profit and ran into financial difficulties in 2022/ 2023, blamed on ‘a number of legacy issues’.
BusinessCloud understands that Grimes has now left the business which he co-founded with Paul Haydock in 2010, when it was called My Parcel Delivery.
The parcel delivery comparison website made sending parcels as hassle-free as possible and rebranded as Sorted in 2017.
Haydock subsequently left the business, which claimed to be able to transform the complex logistics industry into a simple, seamless experience.
In 2019 Carmen Carey was brought in as a non-executive director before replacing Grimes as CEO in 2021, who assumed a board advisory role as a NED.
However Sorted’s growth had not kept pace with its forecasts and it continued to report a loss.
On June 28 2023, Location Sciences announced that it had entered into exclusive non-binding heads of terms regarding a potential acquisition and outlined its plans in an admission document published in January 30, 2024.