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Reef Business Systems, a car showroom and transaction management software company, has been acquired by digital communications specialist CitNOW.
The deal was advised by Yorkshire accountants and business advisers Garbutt + Elliott.
Harrogate-based Reef Business Systems was acquired by Wokingham-based CitNOW as well as US cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) company Quik, which has bases in Massachusetts and Dublin. .
CitNOW completed the acquisitions, backed by London-based private equity firm Tenzing, to accelerate its expansion in the United States, increase value for its clients through additional products and services, and expand the reach of its products.
Following the acquisition, Reef Business Systems will be based under the recently acquired supplier of showroom management systems, Dealerweb, Exeter, in the CitNOW group portfolio.
Reef Managing Director Jamie Pearson has joined Dealerweb’s management team, while fellow Managing Director Garry Cuthbert will continue to advise both companies.
Cuthbert said: “This acquisition gives Reef a valuable opportunity to expand its presence in the international automotive market. The combination of the different products and know-how brought together by CitNOW could become a powerful force in this sector.
“We received excellent service from Garbutt + Elliott. Continuity and familiarity were essential in choosing the firm for our corporate finance work.
CitNOW Group Executive Chairman Geoffrey Page-Morris said: “Acquiring complementary technologies was always part of our growth strategy when we first joined Tenzing’s investment portfolio.
“The latest expansion with the purchase of Quik and Reef fits very well within the CitNOW group and helps us realize our vision of transforming the way software improves communication in the automotive industry.
“We look forward to working with these two companies and increasing our presence in the market. “
Garbutt + Elliott’s corporate finance team, led by partner Rob Burton, provided high-level corporate finance and tax advice on transaction structuring, closing mechanisms and tax structuring through Tax Director Steve Holmes and Account Director Chris Ward. The York, Ware and Kay law firm provided legal support.
Burton said, “G&E has advised Reef shareholders on the process of the Completion Mechanism and their understanding of how it works.
“This was a key area of the deal and, by fully understanding its implications, it protected shareholder value. We were very happy to have contributed to the success of Reef Business Systems.
“This acquisition is a further sign that the deal market is very active and that there is significant private funding available for the right assets.”