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Private equity in action - Case Study

App-DNA

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Country United Kingdom
Region London
Investor Foresight Group, Matrix Private Equity Partners
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Not everything in business can be planned for in advance, but firms must always be ready to move quickly and decisively should circumstances change – for the better or the worse. Foresight Group’s investment in, and Matrix Private Equity Partners’ subsequent support of, Camwood – an IT consulting business based in the UK – demonstrates how private equity is able to do just this, acting opportunistically to take advantage of a changing landscape.

When it emerged that an in-house software tool at Camwood had a potentially huge external market, the two private equity firms were ready to help a new business, App-DNA, launch itself into the outside world, and provided the support and professionalism it needed in those early, high-growth years.

Patrick De Smedt

Chairman

App-DNA

Foresight and Matrix provided App-DNA with not only finance, but also the professional support and advice to develop the business. Quotation Marks Graphic
32x

return on investment

80

staff now at App-DNA – up from zero

What did the business need?

  • Initial investment in Camwood, providing the IT consulting business with development capital for growth
  • Management improvement
  • International expansion

How did private equity backing create lasting value?

  • Helped to identify internal software tool as having commercial potential
  • Developed business plan for App-DNA, setting benchmarks and KPIs
  • Provided flexible financing structure to cover start-up costs
  • Built team, installed best-practice structures and build management function
  • Introduced networks to add value and build skills
  • Brought in top management including the ex-Chairman of Microsoft Europe

What outcomes did private equity investment achieve?

  • Grew from half a dozen to 80 staff in three years
  • Now present in the US, Australia and France, with sales across the globe
  • Sale to Citrix for $95m consideration achieved a 32x return and an IRR of around 240% for investors, with App-DNA still growing strongly
  • Retains stake in Camwood – still performing strongly, with staff numbers up from 25 to 70 during investment period

More information

App-DNA

Foresight Group

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