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ACIS (Advanced Communications and Information Systems) was the UK’s leading provider of real-time passenger information systems. ACIS’ systems included the provision of automated real-time travel information at bus stops via on-and-off street displays.
ACIS’s founders wanted to expand their service offering into new market segments and accelerate growth, but needed investment and a supportive partner to help them.
Following our £25 million acquisition of ACIS in April 2005, we worked in close partnership with the management team, putting the building blocks for growth in place to enable the company to continue rolling out its services to UK customers.
Six months after the initial investment, we saw an opportunity to consolidate ACIS’ position through the acquisition of Tandata Systems Limited. A complementary information systems business, Tandata opened up the airport, train and bus station markets to ACIS, and the newly-merged company was able to benefit from increased reach and complementary management experience.
ACIS subsequently featured in the Sunday Times’ Tech Track 100 for three consecutive years. The company also established a new international revenue stream and doubled company profits ahead of schedule. As a result, together with management we were able to consider various exit options sooner than originally planned.
In November 2006 we sold our entire stake in ACIS to The Carlyle Group for £58.8 million, making a return of 3.3x money and an IRR of over 100%.