An Post technology supplier agrees to €40m sale

By Geoff Percival

Dublin-based point-of-sale and online transaction technology provider, Escher Group, is set to be sold to one of its chief shareholders in a £35.3m (€40.4m) deal.

The company — which counts the likes of An Post, Insomnia, and Permanent TSB amongst its Irish customers — has agreed to be acquired by Exeter Acquisition, a subsidiary of London-based Hanover Active Equity Fund, which already owns a 25.5% stake in Escher.

The deal requires formal UK and Irish takeover panel approval, as well as a 50% approval rate from Escher’s shareholders. Hanover currently has irrevocable undertakings for 45.4% of outstanding shares.

Escher’s share price shot up by over 21% on the news. The price being offered by Hanover represents a 32% premium to Escher’s closing price on December 12, the day before Hanover made its initial takeover approach.

“Hanover has stated that they intend to continue to invest in Escher, particularly its Riposte platform, so that the group remains a market leading global software business,” Escher chief executive, Liam Church, said.

“We have made substantial progress, since the restructuring we began in 2016. The business now has a platform for sustainable growth as a private company.” he added.

Nick Winks, Escher’s chairman, said the board was unanimous in recommending the offer.

“This cash offer, with its substantial premium, is a good outcome for our shareholders, given the uncertainty inherent in our customers’ spending patterns and traditional, one-off licence-based business model, as well as the need to invest further in the business,” he said.

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