FF&P Private Equity sells OB10 to Tungsten

FF&P Private Equity, the direct investment arm of Fleming Family & Partners, has announced the sale of OB10 to Tungsten Corporation. The transaction sees FF&P investors and co-investors realise 70% of their holdings in cash and convert the remainder into Tungsten Corporation shares which will be listed on the AIM market. FF&P Private Equity investors and co-investors will yield returns of up to 3.4x on their investments.

PRESS RELEASE

FF&P Private Equity, the direct investment arm of Fleming Family & Partners, has announced the sale of OB10 to Tungsten Corporation (“Tungsten”) for £100m. The transaction sees FF&P investors and co-investors realise 70% of their holdings in cash and convert the remainder into Tungsten Corporation shares which will be listed on the AIM market. FF&P Private Equity investors and co-investors will yield returns of up to 3.4x on their investments.
Tungsten today listed in London on AIM, raising £160m from a blue chip group of investing institutions to fund the acquisition and the development of the business going forward. Following the flotation, OB10’s shareholders will own approximately 11.5% of the listed entity.
During FF&P Private Equity’s period of ownership OB10 established itself as a leading global e-invoicing network; and now processes more than £100 billion annually for many of the world’s largest companies (including working with 61% of the FTSE 100 and 53% of the Fortune 500).
Founded in 2000, OB10 is headquartered in London, with offices in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. The OB10 network hosts 122 large corporate and governmental buyer groups, including Kraft, Unilever, Motorola, GSK and BP, and over 140,000 suppliers. OB10’s multi-mapping cloud network co-ordinates the invoicing and purchase order process between buyers and suppliers, providing significant financial and operational efficiencies. The e-procurement market is forecast to grow 7-10 per cent over the next two years.
Tungsten has an agreement – subject to appropriate regulatory approvals – to acquire a duly authorised UK bank to specialise in the provision of supply chain financing and invoice discounting to OB10’s customer base.
FF&P Private Equity, as the largest single shareholder in OB10, worked closely with the Company’s executives to develop and position the business as a key asset in the converging payments and technology sectors. This strategy resulted in the successful sale of the business to Tungsten which has an advanced strategy in place to monetise the OB10 e-invoicing process by offering additional e-invoice discounting services through its own duly authorised UK bank (subject to appropriate regulatory approvals). In addition, Tungsten plans to utilise innovative analytics software to identify where cost savings can be made for its buyers.
Henry Sallitt, Co-head of FF&P Private Equity and a board director of OB10, said:
“FF&P Private Equity is dedicated to helping growth companies realise their full potential, through both funding and real assistance in the operational growth of a business.
“At OB10 we have restructured the management team, funded an international network and moved the strategy into the payments and invoice discounting area. We are delighted that Tungsten will be taking that strategy forward to monetise the global network.
“We have led a number of development capital funding rounds to help the business grow internationally, and have enabled a number of our fund investors to make additional co-investments across the life of the investment.
“For all of our investors this is an excellent outcome and we wish OB10 every success in the future as it embarks on its next stage of growth and development with Tungsten.

ENDS
For further information, please contact:

Henry Sallitt, Co-head and Director, FF&P Private Equity +44 (0)20 7036 5747

James Isola, Cubitt Consulting +44 (0)20 7367 5100

FF&P Private Equity is focused on investing in dynamic, growth companies in the UK lower-to-mid market. It invests between £3m – £15m in companies valued from £5m to £50m in a variety of situations including minority investments, management buyouts / buy-ins, development and replacement capital. Through its extensive network of contacts and working in partnership with its investors and portfolio companies, it aims to create market-leading companies that deliver superior returns to all shareholders.
Recent transactions include: the acquisition of specialist UK energy efficiency company, FIT; the bolt-on acquisition of furniture company Peel Mount by FF&P PE’s portfolio company David Phillips; and an investment in Sohonet the leading global expert in connectivity and data management for the media and entertainment industry.

FF&P Private Equity Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.