British software firm Advanced Computer Software (ACS) is being taken private after accepting a bid from investor Vista which values it at £725m.
The private equity house's cash offer of 140p per share is a 17 per cent premium on its closing price yesterday.
ACS was first listed on the AIM arm of the London Stock Exchange in 2008 and has since grown rapidly, snapping up a flurry of firms on its way, including Computer Software Holdings which it grabbed for £110m in March.
The Vista deal was initially tabled only last month, but the firm's president Brian Sheth said he was keen to team up with ACS.
"Vin Murria, ASW's chief executive, and her dedicated leadership team are standouts in the field," he said.
"They are best positioned to expand the ACS platform and meet the needs of a growing customer base to continue their success. We look forward to welcoming ACS into the Vista family."
Murria agreed that private equity was the way forward for her firm.
"We have created a substantial and robust platform, which will benefit from the considerable financial strengths and expertise in the software technology sector of Vista and support the wider ACS Group as it moves into the next stage of its growth."
Analyst Megabuyte's chief executive Ian Spence said the deal highlights a rise in popularity of public-to-private deals.
"The transaction means that yet another major European enterprise software vendor will move into private hands; in fact, of the top players, only Sage and SAP remain in public hands," he said.
"While each of the larger private equity-backed business is tackling the SaaS transition in a different way, all have been clear that the reason for their respective take-private deals has been to provide more flexibility in how they make the transition. And with the US SaaS vendors such as NetSuite and Workday now making a concerted push into Europe, the pressure is on for the European incumbents to take that step.
"That said, while it is clearly disappointing that ACS has not been able to continue its journey as a listed entity, with the reputation of AIM at something of a low point currently, ACS' six-year journey as an AIM-listed company represents a perfect case study of how the market can be used to great effect."
Telco also announced series of initiatives to drive digital growth in the UK
Nana Baffour opens up on Getronics' mammoth acquisition of Pomeroy
Analyst predicts SaaS will remain the dominant segment in the market as it grows 17 per cent in 2019
NSS Labs claims vendors are refusing to have their products tested effectively and are trying to restrict its access