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L-R: head of the Garbutt + Elliott corporate finance team, partner, Tony Farmer; managing partner, Russell Turner and corporate finance partners, Rob Burton and Tariq Javaid.
Jane Imrie

Harrogate automotive tech firm set for international growth following acquisition

A Yorkshire car showroom and deal management software company has been acquired by a digital comms specialist in a new deal.

Harrogate-based Reef Business Systems has been acquired by Wokingham-based CitNOW as part of its expansion strategy.

The deal took place alongside CitNOW’s acquisition US-integrated cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) company, Quik, which has bases in Massachusetts and Dublin.

Following the acquisition, Reef Business Systems, will be based under the recently acquired provider of showroom management systems, Dealerweb, in the CitNOW Group portfolio. Reef managing director Jamie Pearson has joined the senior management team of Dealerweb, while fellow director Garry Cuthbert will continue to advise both businesses.

Garry commented: “This acquisition gives Reef a valuable chance to expand its presence in the international automotive market. The combination of the different products and expertise assembled by CitNOW could become a powerful force in this sector.

“We received an excellent service from Garbutt + Elliott. Continuity and familiarity was key to choosing the firm for our corporate finance work. Using people who already know our business well made the decision an easy one.”

Garbutt + Elliott’s corporate finance team, led by partner Rob Burton, provided high level corporate finance and taxation advice on the deal structuring, completion mechanisms and tax structuring through tax director Steve Holmes and accounts director Chris Ward. York law firm Ware and Kay provided legal support.

Rob Burton explained: “G&E advised the Reef shareholders on the completion mechanism process and their understanding of how this worked. It was a key area of the deal and, by thoroughly understanding its implications, protected value for the shareholders. We were very pleased to help deliver a successful outcome for Reef Business Systems.

“This acquisition is a further sign that the deals market is very active and there is significant private equity funding available for the right assets. The Yorkshire corporate finance community is very busy and the region remains an extremely active market place.”

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