Wanna buy an MSP? Attenda hangs 'for sale' sign round its neck

Arma Partners appointed to find new private equity backer

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App hosting, co-lo and managed service provider Attenda is coming onto the market for sale in what is already shaping up to be another year of frenzied M&A activity in the UK tech industry.

The Staines-based organisation was due to be put up for sale by owner Darwin Private Equity last year but postponed proceedings amid talk that results had fallen relatively short of expectations.

Multiple sources told us the MSP has appointed Arma Partners to run the sales on behalf of management.

“The process is kicking off with an Information Memorandum [in circulation] and meetings being set up,” one informed The Channel.

We asked Attenda CEO Mark Fowle to comment but have yet to hear from him.

Darwin backed a £50m management buy-out in 2011 and so the five-year investment cycle is drawing to a close – and the funder is looking to cash in this year.

Attenda has enjoyed double digit top line growth in recent years but according to parent Amphora Topco, revenue edged up just 1.4 per cent in calendar year 2014 to £41.4m. Profits dipped to £12.23m from £12.38m but after operating expenses and interest repayment, operating losses were £2.3m, better than the £2.6m in the prior year.

The company owed £28.4m in bank loans, £56.48m in long-term loan notes and £3.04m in finance obligations.

The financial results for calendar year 2015 are not due for some months yet, so it is impossible to ascertain how the year shaped up for Attenda.

So far this year, data centre provider Onyx and reseller-cum-MSP Trustmarque have erected for sales signs outside their head offices, while investments at other funds are expected to mature this year. ®

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