Firm Successfully Exits Leading Compliance and Business Services Platform Focused on Sole Proprietors
The Riverside Company, a global private equity investor focused on the smaller end of the middle market, has divested its interest in Brookson Group Limited (Brookson) through a sale to People2.0, a TPG portfolio company. Brookson is the leading compliance and services platform for freelancers and their hirers throughout the United Kingdom. Brookson maintains one of longest tenured customer bases in the industry.
Brookson uses its proprietary cloud-based SaaS platform, Brookson Connect, embellished by exemplary levels of professional services, to reduce the effort and hassle for each of its customer segments, providing the best advisory, compliance and administrative services they need – with a mission to revolutionise professional services for the changing world of work.
“We have worked closely with the highly talented management team to develop the leading cloud platform providing a full range of tech-enabled, compliance-led services to best serve highly complex customer needs – delivering strong growth throughout our investment,” said Riverside Partner Dr. Martin Scott.
Riverside acquired Brookson in November 2014 and added to this substantially with the acquisitions of 1st Group in 2017 and InTouch Accounting in 2018. These acquisitions introduced a number of incremental bespoke services to the Brookson offering and expanded the company’s customer base significantly. In addition, Riverside effected the add-on of Boomerang Support Services in 2016.
“We are extremely proud of our work with the Brookson team, and we wish them great success in their next chapter with People2.0,” said Riverside Europe Managing Partner Karsten Langer. “The sale of Brookson marks the fifth exit by Riverside Europe in the past five months.”
The company serves a large customer base of skilled freelance professionals (and their hirers) working across a wide range of industries, including engineering, healthcare, IT, finance and other professional services. Brookson Connect serves as an end-to-end workforce management platform for the entire freelancer supply chain, with an API integration layer enabling an ecosystem of associated service providers – reducing cost and complexity for customers.
Andrew Fahey, CEO of Brookson Group, commented: “Our strategic partnership with Riverside has enabled us to complete several key acquisitions, both within our existing marketplace and to add new products and services. We have been supported to diversify our product set and customer base and delivered significant top-line and EBITDA growth against the backdrop of huge economic, health and regulatory turbulence. The partnership between our two organisations has been built on a shared vision and aligned goals of exciting technology, exemplary service and continued growth. We would like to thank The Riverside Company for their knowledge, expertise and support in helping us achieve our strategic objectives. Together, we have created real value for all of our stakeholders.”
Riverside’s acquisition of Brookson and subsequent add-ons are examples of Riverside’s deep commitment and experience in growing Software and IT Services companies. Riverside has completed more than 220 transactions in this specialised sector since 1988.
Working with Scott and Langer on the transaction were Principal, Origination, Tommy Seddon; Vice President Marc Baudry and Operating Partner Philip Rowland. Seddon also sourced the deal for Riverside.
Riverside was advised by Houlihan Lokey (M&A) and Jones Day (Legal).
The Riverside Company
The Riverside Company is a global private equity firm focused on investing in growing businesses valued at up to $400 million. Since its founding in 1988, Riverside has made more than 870 investments. The firm’s international private equity and flexible capital portfolios include more than 130 companies. Riverside Europe is an integral part of the firm’s broad global network and has invested in Europe since 1989. Riverside believes a truly global presence provides exceptional insight into local conditions, culture and business practices, making team members better investors and business partners.