We are delighted to have advised Aker Systems Limited on their sale to LDC and Management.
Founded in 2017, Aker has developed proprietary software & service solutions which allows their government and private sector clients to migrate vast, complex and sensitive data sets quickly and safely into the public cloud. Their unique and agile approach to a business-critical challenge has delivered impressive growth and a remarkable level of credentialization for a start-up.
With a CAGR of 206% over the two years from May 2018 and experiencing an exceptional level of customer demand, the shareholders of Aker decided to realise value, looking to identify new owners for the business who would support its growth and facilitate its professionalization.
After exploring potential relationships with a range of parties; a deal was agreed with Lloyds Development Capital (“LDC”) in April 2020 and an intense period of due diligence was undertaken during the months of lockdown. As an agile and asset light business, Aker has been unaffected by the Covid-19 crisis; teams have continued to work from home and existing and new contracts have continued to be supported and secured.
The deal was composed of a number of elements including cash at completion, deferred consideration and equity. All of the shareholders continue to be part of Aker’s future with the ex-CEO taking a non-executive role and a returning founder stepping into the CEO position. LDC have bought into an exciting business plan which will see Aker continue its staggering growth and the expansion into new sectors.
We were appointed to support the shareholders to identify an outcome which would deliver a substantive cash consideration, allow the business to expand, professionalise the management team and support Aker to fulfil its vast potential.
With a management team at full stretch in sales and delivery, we took a pro-active approach to supporting them to prepare for the process; aiding them in the production of a comprehensive financial model, populating a data room and anticipating the focus of due diligence.
Working with management we helped to hone and articulate the key value drivers underpinning Aker’s success, supporting the team to produce a compelling business plan.
Throughout the process we have provided the shareholders of Aker with a combination of support, challenge and advice. We have worked with them in a highly collaborative and flexible way to deliver the hands-on input they required to supplement their own constrained time. We have listened actively to their objectives and concerns and negotiated effectively to define and deliver a package of consideration which delivers for the vendors, management, the company and the incoming investor.
Our corporate finance, financial modelling, diligence and tax teams worked seamlessly to provide the advice required to get a complex deal over the line under the unusual circumstances of lockdown.
The Grant Thornton team have been superb. They ran an effective process to achieve maximum value for us and then managed the due diligence and negotiation processes to minimise the load on the management team. Highly recommended and nice people too.Adam Fawsitt Founder Director, Aker Systems Limited