Cinven made its initial investment in JBA Holdings plc in 1988 when it was approached to provide growth capital and liquidity for one of the founder shareholders. The business operated as an IBM approved software house, supplying IBM hardware and related services, with the bulk of its revenues coming from consultancy, application development, training and on-site support. It had achieved a strong position in its market, acquiring other businesses to expand its geographical coverage in the UK and continental Europe.
JBA aimed to increase its geographical spread by acquiring weaker competitors, thereby gaining additional income, furthering its reputation for the quality of its services and reaping economies of scale. This strategy was successfully pursued, supported by two further injections of capital from a syndicate of investors that included Cinven.
It was always a term of Cinven’s involvement that it would eventually seek an exit through a sale or flotation of the business and in June 1994 the business was floated on the London Stock Exchange.
Multiple returned on investment: 8.5x