open objects

A market leading supplier of social care and health software solutions and digital services to around 60% of top tier local authorities in England including Sheffield, Barnsley, Darlington, Durham and Newcastle has been taken over in a deal involving Yorkshire advisers.

Open Objects Software Limited, a specialist in the UK public sector social care and healthcare software market, has been acquired by Idox plc for up to £5.2 million. For the year ended 31 March 2016 the company reported an EBITDA of £0.63m.

Open Objects is a market leader in the provision of adult social care and family services software and services to local authorities and also supplies health bodies and third sector organisations in the UK.

Idox a leading supplier of specialist information management solutions and services, is listed on AiM and has a market capitalisation of £229m. The acquisition is in line with Idox’s target of achieving £100m of revenues at sustainable margins in the short to medium term, through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions.

Open Objects delivers a wide range of managed cloud services including Information, Advice and Guidance Hubs, Social Care Marketplaces, Special Educational Needs Hubs, Online Care Assessments and Practitioner Portals. Its SAAS solutions provide innovative search and database-driven websites.

The acquisition supports Idox’s strategy of extending its public sector domains and expanding its delivery of digital services across all areas of local government. This acquisition of Open Objects is expected to enable Idox to increase significantly its market share in this important domain and to provide an increased range of value enhancing services to all its customers.

A team from specialist corporate finance firm Dow Schofield Watts, comprising Roger Esler and Paul Herriott, advised the vendors of Open Objects with legal advice being provided by Matt Ainsworth and Michael Hall from the Sheffield office of Irwin Mitchell.

Roger Esler of DSW commented, “Open Objects is a true specialist in this niche market and we are delighted to have advised on this sale to a strategic acquirer that will provide scale and connectivity benefits to the business. We wish the founders and owners well as a new part of the Idox group.”

Gavin Cameron, Chief Executive and co-founder of Open Objects commented:

“The advice provided to us by DSW during our company sale process was truly insightful.  We benefited greatly from their persistence and tenacity throughout all stages of the sale. I reserve special mention for their help with regard to our closing position on cash and working capital. These were tricky negotiations, with some key interventions by DSW which optimised our value on completion.”