IRIS dispels takeover rumours

IRIS, the accounting software group, has made it crystal clear that it
intends to continue operating as an independent company following rumours that
it may be on the radar of industry consolidator Infor.

The Datchet-based business software group is backed by private equity house
Hg Capital, which invested in the company in 2004. With Infor – which has
already bought out Systems Union – on the look-out for acquisitions, speculation
mounted that Hg Capital may see the Infor war chest as an ideal opportunity to
exit from its IRIS investment.

In a bold and uncompromising statement released last week, however, IRIS
chief executive Martin Leuw made an emphatic declaration of IRIS’s plans to
pursue its strategy as an independent entity.

‘In a world of faceless organisations, IRIS has always been, and will
continue to be, an organisation with a face,’ said Leuw. ‘Unlike our larger
competitors, who seem intent on centralising all activities in one location to
become one amorphous mass, we will continue to build on the extensive expertise
of our people in each area of our business, to provide expert, individual and
tailored support to our customers.’

Leuw was able to back his words with a robust revenue forecast for the
2007/2008 financial year and a dynamic restructuring of the way IRIS runs its
business units.

The group is forecasting impressive revenues of £45m for 2007/2008, which
represents a five-fold income increase since Leuw took over as chief executive
in 2001.

The continuing growth story at IRIS will most certainly please its private
equity investors and fend off interest from any would-be predators.

The company will operate out of three strategic units, run by divisional
managing directors. The new structure will free up Leuw to run the rule over any
potential acquisitions and organic growth opportunities.

IRIS’s practice software arm will be based in Datchet and Kidlington, the HR
and payroll software group will be based in Wigan and Stockton-on-Tees, and
accounting and business software products will operate out of Bournemouth.

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