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Deal For ERP Specialist Paves Way For Growth


-Mid-&-Mbh 3i Backs International Buyout Of Motherwell Information Systems (Mis) From Motherwell Bridge Holdings (Mhb)

Deal for ERP specialist paves way for substantial international growth.

Europe's leading venture capital company , 3i is backing an 84 million pound sterling institutional buyout of Motherwell Information Systems (MIS), an international Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation services and e- business development organisation, from its parent company, Motherwell Bridge Holdings (MBH).

MIS, a rapidly growing international provider of IT solutions and services focused on serving the needs of manufacturing industries and utilities, will now seek to accelerate its growth world wide...the principal target being the mid tier market for front office, e commerce and customer relationship management (CRM) applications, a sector that is forecast to grow rapidly over the next five years. MIS currently operates from 15 offices located in major business centres throughout Europe, USA and Australasia.

MIS employs around 700 people world wide and 1999 turnover reached 44 million pounds. The company's early roots lie in manufacturing systems and factory floor solutions and in recent years have expanded into back office ERP applications. The company is now expanding into the fast growing areas of integrated front office and e commerce systems that create and manage virtual supply chains and extend ERP into virtual enterprises, particularly in the Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) segment.

MBH is receiving 63 million pounds in cash at completion of the deal and is providing 12 million pounds vendor loan note. Working capital and deal fees and expenses of 9 million pounds takes the total funding requirement to 84 million pounds. 3i is investing 43.5 million pounds for a majority stake with the balance being taken up by the worldwide management team led by chief executive Kerry Brown. The Royal Bank of Scotland and Bank of Scotland are jointly underwriting a 27 million senior, mezzanine and working capital debt facility. 3i was advised by Deloitte & Touche Corporate Finance and Dickson Minto.

Commenting on the deal Kerry Brown, chief executive said: "MIS has reached a significant point in its development following substantial investments in establishing our international operations structure. The corporate IT landscape is changing rapidly as the Internet reshapes business thinking, with the mid tier market set for major growth over the next few years. The timing of this deal together with the resources and expertise of 3i as a global investor, will be invaluable in helping us capitalise on the market opportunities that lie ahead."

Paul Murray, director of transactions with 3i in Scotland said: "The deal underlines our commitment to supporting high growth businesses with strong and committed management teams. 3i is greatly excited by the scale of the opportunity facing MIS, particularly the supply of front-office and e commerce systems to SMEs. When combined with the strength of the management team, the sectoral focus and the potential market growth, we believe that MIS has the potential to become a significant global business."


Notes to editors

MIS operates in fast growing markets...AMR the leading research organisation forecasts that: - The total market for ERP software will exhibit a CAGR* of 32% over the next five years to reach 42 billion pounds and adding in services, networking, databases etc., almost trebles that figure. ERP accounts for the largest share of corporate applications spending....43%. - The markets for e commerce/supply chain ERP software and Customer Relationship Management are each forecast to grow at around 48% CAGR to reach over 20 billion pounds in total by 2003.

CAGR: Compound annual growth rate.

Additional notes to editors

About 3i

3i Group plc is Europe's leading venture capital company. The Group invests in ambitious, growing businesses in all sectors. It provides funding for growth recovery, management buy-outs and management buy ins. Almost 1000 companies from 3i's portfolios have achieved a stock market listing.

3i has 30 offices throughout Europe, two in Asia and two in the USA. Overall 3i has invested almost 11 billion pounds in over 13,200 businesses and currently has a portfolio of investments in almost 3,000 companies with a combined valuation of more than 4.7 billion.

About Motherwell Information Systems (MIS)

MIS is an international provider of ERP implementation services, e business development services and systems engineering services. The company specialises in manufacturing industries and utilities. Central to MIS's continued growth is its role as a leading implementation partner for Oracle Applications, Ross and SAP R/3, reinforced by a strategy of delivering ERP implementation services tailored for mid market solutions. Separate e business development operations deliver solutions that open up legacy data, on line stores and create Web-based access facilities with strong links to back office systems. MIS operates through a network of 15 offices located in major business centre in Europe, USA and Australasia. The company employs approaching 700 people around the world.


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