London, U.K. 23 September 2020
Hg, a leading European investor in software and tech-enabled services businesses, today announces an investment in The Citation Group (“Citation”), a leading provider of tech-enabled, subscription-based HR and Employment law, Health & Safety, and ISO services to SMEs.
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.
Hg first invested in Citation in 2016. In August this year, Hg announced the sale of Citation to KKR, a leading global investment firm. Recognising the significant potential for further investment and development of Citation and both firms’ potential to contribute to this, KKR provided Hg with an option to reinvest in the next phase of Citation’s growth.
Hg is pleased to announce that it has now exercised that option to re-invest and partner with KKR by acquiring a co-controlling stake in Citation.
The terms of the transaction are not disclosed.
Chris Morris, Group CEO of the Citation Group, said: “To attract the backing of two world-class investors is a huge achievement for the business and is a testament to the hard work from the Citation team over many years. Not only does it demonstrate conviction in the company’s trajectory, but this combination of scale with specialist know-how in our sectors, means that Citation has never been in a better position to offer best-in-class services as a trusted partner to our UK SME clients.”
Nick Jordan and Joris Van Gool, Partners at Hg, said: “Citation is very simply a high-quality business, demonstrated by around 20 years of year-on-year growth. Our experience of the business and its sector means that we recognise further opportunities for transformational growth, and we’re excited to make this new investment in the business. Now, together with KKR, Chris and a phenomenal team, we will continue to reinforce Citation as a truly trusted partner to SMEs.”
Tim Franks, Partner, and Joerg Metzner and Stanislas de Joussineau, Directors at KKR, said: “We very much welcome that Hg has chosen to exercise its option to re-invest in this great company and to work alongside us and the management team to capture the strong growth opportunities for Citation, providing critical, tech-enabled services to SMEs.”