Citation sold to Hg

Wilmslow-based, HR, Health & Safety and ISO provider, Citation has been acquired from ECI Partners by private equity firm Hg for £185m.

For Citation, one of the UK’s leading outsourced professional service providers to the SME market, the change of ownership gives the business support to continue to expand its sales and marketing, service delivery and range of products.

Hg invests in high growth companies with secure revenues and a loyal and diversified client base. Impressed by the experienced team at Citation and the dynamic culture of the business that has driven its impressive recent growth, the international private equity firm was keen to add the business to its portfolio.

Citation CEO, Chris Morris, comments: “Hg is a fantastic fit for Citation and we are looking forward to working with the team to continue to build our business. Our time with ECI has been exciting as we have developed Citation into what it is today, and we look forward to an equally rewarding future with Hg.”

Head of Business Services at ECI and director at Citation, Richard Chapman, commented: “It has been a pleasure supporting Chris and his team over the last three years, working with them to transform Citation. With our investment and backing, the team has achieved a huge amount and created a business that understands its customers’ needs and delivers a high quality service they value. This successful investment adds to our strong track record in backing high growth businesses in the tech-enabled business services sector. We wish the team every success with Hg as it continues to develop its role as a leading champion for UK SMEs.”

Matt Rourke, Partner at Hg added, “It is undoubtedly the team and the culture that have driven the rapid recent growth at Citation. The combination of a highly predictable and secure business model with a top quality team and positive culture is nearly always a winning formula. We are very happy to be invested in such an opportunity“.

Citation has been backed by ECI, since December 2012 and in the last three years the company has increased its client base from 5,000 to 16,000, revenue has grown from £20 million to £40 million forecast for 2016 (a CAGR of 26%), and employment has grown from circa 200 to what will be over 400 by the end of 2016 (a CAGR of c19%).

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