Hg, a leading European investor in software and tech-enabled services businesses, today announces the sale of The Citation Group (“Citation”), a leading provider of subscription-based HR and Employment law, Health & Safety, and ISO services to SMEs, to KKR, a leading global investment firm. The terms of the transaction are not disclosed.
Citation provides tech-enabled compliance and quality related subscription services to over 40,000 SMEs across the UK. Citation helps these SMEs to comply with relevant regulations and ensure certain levels of quality and standards are met, in areas such as Health & Safety, HR/Employment Law, ISO and industry specific rules and standards by providing a combination of expert advice, software tools and audits / assessments, mostly on a long-term subscription basis.
KKR’s investment is being made through its European private equity fund, European Fund V, and through its Global Impact Fund.
“Citation has thrived together with Hg, undergoing a transformation program which has included significant investment in R&D, an ambitious M&A strategy and innovation into new areas of technology. These initiatives have helped drive continuous strong growth over the last 4 years, during which time we’ve more than doubled our core customer base. We look forward to working with KKR, whose scale will help us continue to develop the platform as a truly trusted partner for our SME customers.”Chris Morris, Group CEO of The Citation Group.
“Hg and Citation have shown valuable collaboration over the last four years. Together we have helped to invest and reinforce Citation’s products and services, executed on eight accretive transactions creating access to new verticals and new products for Citation’s customers and driven a cloud data and artificial intelligence program. We wish Chris and the team well as they partner with KKR on their next phase of growth.”Joris Van Gool, Partner at Hg.
“We are excited to invest in Citation as the company provides essential, tech-enabled services to a large universe of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, a vital component of the UK economy. Citation is already a strong player with an impressive track record of performance and is well-positioned to seize significant further growth opportunities, expanding its customer base and range of services. We look forward to working closely with Chris and his team.”Tim Franks, Partner and Head of UK, and Joerg Metzner, Director and Co-Head of EMEA Business and Consumer Services at KKR.
“Citation’s mission of helping SMEs look after the health, safety and well-being of their staff is fully aligned with our strategy for the impact fund. We are looking forward to supporting the company in further extending the environmental, social and governance (ESG) service offer to its client base.”Stanislas de Joussineau, Director and Head of Global Impact in EMEA at KKR.
Jefferies International Limited, Deloitte, OC&C, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and Addleshaw Goddard LLP advised Citation and Hg.