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EMC Corporate Finance completes another trans-Atlantic sale

EMC Corporate Finance has completed the sale of its Essex-based client, PaySuite Ltd, to $3bn American corporation Intuit Inc, global leader in small business accounting software.

Despite difficulties posed by the long distance nature of the negotiations, the deal was concluded in just six weeks.

EMC’s Kent director Desmond High, based in Maidstone, explained: “We dealt directly with Intuit’s global M&A team, based in San Francisco, and even though this was a pretty small deal by their standards, the eight hour time difference made for a lot of busy evenings on conference calls.

“None of the parties running the transaction – Intuit’s in-house counsel, external lawyers and due diligence teams on one side, and us and PaySuite’s other professional advisers on the other – ever actually got together in person. The only exception was on the day of completion when I met with Joe Guzel, a rising star of Intuit’s M&A team who was driving the deal for them, in their London office.”

It’s the second time in the last few months that EMC has been involved in a rapid turnaround trans-Atlantic deal following the sale of $100m freight forwarding and logistics company Bellville International Ltd to OIA Global of Portland, Oregon. That deal, which has recently won EMC a clutch of top industry awards, was completed within just 100 days of the initial contact with the buyer.

PaySuite is one of the larger providers of payroll software in the UK. Its product is targeted mainly at small businesses, typically with up to 20 staff.

The product was developed by long-standing EMC client Employer Services Limited (ESL) based in Brentwood, Essex. ESL runs a payroll bureau using third party software and originally sought to develop its own product. However it took it a different direction as cloud-based software started to become the default for new and growing SMEs, and hived off PaySuite into a separate company in 2013.

Stuart Hall, CEO of both PaySuite and ESL, said: “This really is the right deal at the right time. PaySuite could have remained independent but it would have needed to raise new capital and be prepared to take on global players like Intuit who would have either developed their own product or acquired others. They needed a service like ours as part of their online offering and this deal gives them a fast-growing, proven product which has already been linked to the QuickBooks Online product for the last three months.”

In a blog statement announcing the deal, Intuit said the partnership would help them to continue development for “small businesses, accountants and bookkeepers across the UK and around the world.”

“By bringing PaySuite into the QuickBooks Online ecosystem in the UK, we’re striving to ensure that small businesses and accountants in the UK benefit from a seamless experience,” the company said.

Legal advice to PaySuite was provided by Christopher Chidley of solicitors Dickens Hopgood & Chidley of Hungerford, Berkshire, with tax advice provided by Suze McDonald and Dave Collis from Baker Tilly’s Reading office.


For more information please contact Desmond High, EMC Corporate Finance Ltd, on 01622 685734 or 07976 426547

September 2014


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