Grant Thornton advised on the deal
Grant Thornton advised on the deal

Salford-based software firm acquired by Scottish IT company in £16.5m deal

North West software company Sonassi has been snapped up by a Scottish IT and cloud computing firm.

Sonassi, based in Salford, was acquired by Iomart plc for an initial £10m.

With the first payment funded through a drawdown from the Glasgow-headquartered company’s revolving credit facility, a further £1m is payable subject to the completion of an element of software development, Iomart said this morning (December 5).

A final sum of no more than £5.5m is contingent on Sonassi’s profitability in the year ending July 31 2018.

The maximum purchase price is therefore £16.5m, excluding £3.1m Iomart paid to make the acquisition on a no debt, no cash, normalised working capital and daily contribution basis.

The Sonassi deal is Iomart’s second ecommerce hosting specialist acquisition this year, following the purchase Redditch-based Simple Servers in July.

Iomart plc CEO Angus MacSween said: “We believe eCommerce is an area of the market which provides a good opportunity for future growth and we plan to use the acquisition of both of these operations to firmly establish iomart as a provider of choice in this significant market sector.”

Sonassi was founded in 2008 by Manchester entrepreneur Benjamin Lessani.

Mr Lessani commented: “As part of iomart we will have access to the best infrastructure, connectivity, and skillset there is. It’s a very exciting move for us and we’re looking forward to working with Angus and his team to create a market-leading eCommerce hosting division.”

Peter Terry, corporate finance partner at professional services firm Grant Thornton, advised the vendors of Sonassi with assistance from corporate finance (M&A) manager Daniel Brecker.

Mr Terry said of the deal: ’Sonassi is a best-in-class software business at the cutting edge of a vibrant e-commerce sector.

“There was high demand for this business, leading to an excellent result for its entrepreneurial management team.”

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