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04 December 2018

Charles Russell Speechlys advises the Civica Group on the acquisition of Electoral Reform Services

Charles Russell Speechlys has advised longstanding client, the Civica Group, an investee company of Partners Group and market leader in business-critical software applications, digital solutions and managed services, on its latest acquisition of specialist election and civic engagement services group Electoral Reform Services Limited (ERS Group).

Based in London, the ERS Group is the UK’s market-leading provider of software and services for election management, membership engagement, democracy and governance systems. The ERS Group employs over 200 people and works with thousands of organisations in both public and private sectors in the UK and internationally, including local authorities, health services, political parties and trade unions, charities and other membership organisations and professional bodies. Its unrivalled experience includes managing more than 50 million registrations and 30 million online votes.

Sian Roberts, chief executive of the ERS Group said, “Our products and services are relied upon to deliver key services at critical times. Being part of Civica will allow us to continue with current activities but with access to increased resources which we believe will deliver exceptional value to employees, customers and partners and spur our growth in the UK and internationally.” 

In keeping with Civica’s strategy, the ERS Group adds specialist expertise and products which are complementary to its established activities across shared markets in the public sector and regulated markets. Both groups share deep domain expertise and a broad market presence, while Civica’s extensive digital technology and automation capabilities will help to accelerate the transition to more digitised democracy and membership services.

Wayne Story, Civica Group CEO, said, “I am delighted to welcome ERS to the Civica Group. From engaging with communities to comprehensive ballot, election and voting services, the company has unrivalled experience in governance, engagement, election and voter registration together with the software and innovation to enable effective modern services.”

Malcolm MacDougall, Head of Private Equity at Charles Russell Speechlys commented “We thoroughly enjoyed working with the Civica team on this acquisition, which is the most recent of 16 deals that we have advised Civica on and follows the acquisitions of Nationwide Retail Systems, VisionWare and iCasework, earlier this year. Given the current political landscape, ERS Group is a very topical service provider within the TMT sector to add to Civica’s growing portfolio.”

The Charles Russell Speechlys core team comprised Corporate Partner and Head of Private Equity Malcolm MacDougall, Senior Associate Lucy Thorpe, Associates Fiona Walsh and Ashwin Pillay and members of the firm’s Corporate Tax, Commercial, Employment and Real Estate teams.