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Orchard Information Systems Acquires Applaud Web Solutions

14th Jun 2011

Newcastle based Orchard Information Systems has acquired Applaud Web Solutions Limited in a deal advised by leading North East commercial law firm, Muckle LLP.

Orchard, the leading provider of specialist software solutions for the social housing sector and local authorities, has acquired the entire share capital and the business of Applaud Web Solutions. Orchard is not only retaining the employees of Applaud, but will now look to expand its business further and to create more jobs.  Applaud are well regarded North East based software house specialising in web-based portal applications and performance management solutions for public sector and commercial organisations.

Nick Lambert, finance director at Orchard, said: "This is our first acquisition and it demonstrates our ambition for growth. We felt that Applaud had a worthwhile offering and a whole host of innovative ideas which we could sell to our customer base and were also keen to get the existing team on board with us. Applaud becoming part of the Orchard organisation, means it can benefit from our administration, financial management and sales and marketing resources.

We were advised on this acquisition by Muckle LLP, who we've worked with for a number of years. We considered Muckle to be the best firm to look after this acquisition for us and the legal work was hugely well managed and efficient. This was a relatively small acquisition, but it was an excellent test case for us when we look for future acquisitions."

Orchard Information Systems, which had a £12.7m turnover last year and has 130 members of staff, will now look to expand its business and make further acquisitions. Twelve jobs will be created over the next year.

Orchard were advised on the deal by a team at leading commercial law firm Muckle LLP including corporate finance partner Craig Swinhoe, solicitor Vicky Hewison and employment partner Chris Maddock.

Craig Swinhoe said: “We pride ourselves on strong relationships with our clients.  Muckle LLP has been advising Orchard on the legal aspects of a variety of day-to-day business issues for a number of years and we are delighted to have now helped them through their first transaction. This deal was characterised by genuine goodwill on all sides to make it happen this really does appear to be one of those transactions where there is a win-win for all concerned.”

Vicky Hewison, a solicitor in the corporate finance team, added: “It was great working with the management team at Orchard on this deal and to have played a role in supporting it in acquiring a well-established local business.  Orchard has excellent systems in place to underpin the success of this deal and we look forward to seeing Orchard continue with its exciting growth plans.”

Paul Sheperia, from Middlesbrough-based Applaud Web Solutions, said: "We believe that Applaud and Orchard are fantastic complements to each other. Our technology strengthens the Orchard position in the cloud computing world, with our long experience of developing web based technologies and Orchard's expertise, experience and resources enable us to improve our flagship Vestri product and continue meeting our customers needs.  I'm proud of what our team have achieved to date, and see a great future for our technology and expertise within the Orchard family."

Above photo (left to right): Craig Swinhoe (Muckle LLP), Peter Hunt (Orchard Information Systems), Vicky Hewison (Muckle LLP), Nick Lambert (Orchard Informations Systems), Paul Sheperia (Applaud Web Solutions Ltd). 

For further information please contact Craig Swinhoe, call 0191 211 7945 or alternatively email us at [email protected].

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