03/03/2016

Technology company Coreplace announces sale of Innovantage to US-based STG Group

Cardiff-based CorePlace Capital, part of entrepreneur Simon Powell’s portfolio, confirmed today the sale of its stake in Innovantage together with long-term investor Finance Wales to, Symphony Technology Group (STG), a private equity firm focused on transforming high potential companies into definitive market leaders.

 Symphony Technology Group is a strategic private equity firm with the mission of investing in and building great technology and services companies. In addition to capital, STG provides transformation expertise to enable its companies to deliver maximum value to their clients, to drive growth through innovation, to retain and attract the best talent and to achieve best in class business performance.

“Over the last few years, STG has built a strategic portfolio of companies in the Human Capital Management software and services space that help enterprises around the world recruit, onboard and manage talent,” explained STG Managing Director William Chisholm. “With its purpose-built analytics platform for the talent recruiting eco-system and strong presence in the UK, Innovantage is an important addition to this portfolio. We look forward to investing in Innovantage’s offerings and expanding the company’s geographical presence”, he said.

Innovantage captures job postings from over 150 job boards and 500,000 employer websites to provide recruiters with a picture of hiring trends across the whole of the jobs market. Employers can use this information to understand which of their competitors are hiring and in what areas, to identify recruitment trends, fill immediate hiring needs and anticipate future demands. Innovantage is also a solution for recruitment agencies and other intermediaries to generate sales leads. “We are looking forward to embarking upon this new journey with STG,” said Richard Turner, CEO of Innovantage.“Joining one of the leading groups in the recruitment sector will allow us to serve our clients better by providing them with an even more comprehensive and efficient solution.”

Acquired in 2012 in a prepack arrangement, Innovantage has hugely benefited from the innovative technology developed by Humphrey Sheil and his team at sister company  Eysys,  who built the initial technology that enabled the data aggregation framework and future growth of Innovantage. This together with the management skills of Simon Powell’s team have transformed the business and made it highly desirable to sell on to the right purchaser.

Following the initial acquisition, Innovantage’s software systems were updated and new services introduced resulting in new customers and a dramatic growth in turnover and profit.

A key member of Simon Powell’s senior management team, Richard Turner, was appointed as CEO in 2014 to further redevelop the business. In the later part of 2015, a detailed Information Memorandum was produced by financial advisors Clarius Finance, directed by Matt Wakerley, together with a very comprehensive legal framework produced by advisor Alan Whiteley of Farsight Partnership LLP and three potential purchasers were identified and approached. On Friday the 19th of February, the deal went through with STG as the successful bidder.

“We are excited to embark upon this new journey with STG,” Richard Turner said. “Becoming part of one of the leading groups in the recruitment sector will allow us to serve our clients better than eve and we look forward to being able to integrate with STG’s technologies and to providing our clients with more complete and more efficient solutions.”

Nicola Griffiths, Portfolio Executive for Finance Wales, commented: “Finance Wales has been a long-term backer of Innovantage and we’re pleased to see it go from strength to strength and create jobs in Wales since Simon took the helm in 2012. 

“Our six-figure investment in 2015 provided Simon and his team with the capital to develop Innovantage’s impressive, market-leading technology and strengthen key aspects of the business.  We look forward to seeing Innovantage continue to flourish.”  

Finally, Simon Powell states that: “This acquisition and the subsequent sale of a company needing our help, and which has not only survived with our involvement and created new employment, but has also now been sold to a world class organisation to secure and accelerate its future potential. Innovantage is one of eight Companies within with the CorePlace Capital portfolio. It has been a pleasure to build, support and now exit Innovantage at the right time, to enable the business to grow and prosper under its new ownership and onto its next stage of development and success.

“As an investor there is nothing more rewarding than helping a business with potential to achieve its objectives and then have multiple companies wishing to acquire that opportunity to take it even further still.”